A therapy dog program that eases stress for Gosford Court users will be extended for a further 12 months after a funding pledge from the NSW Government.
Attorney General, Mark Speakman, and Liberal Member of the NSW Upper House for the Central Coast, Taylor Martin, announced that the Canine Court Companion program would be renewed after rave feedback from court users.
“The program has received overwhelming support and I’m pleased that victims of crime, lawyers and police will be among those who continue to enjoy the benefits of pet therapy,” Speakman said.
The NSW Government will continue to fund Guide Dogs NSW/ACT to keep the service operating in 10 locations in metropolitan and regional NSW until July, 2020.
The dogs attend Gosford Courthouse four days a week, patrolling foyers, waiting rooms, safe rooms and witness rooms.
“The specially trained Labradors have won hearts at Gosford Courthouse and provided significant comfort to people feeling anxious or overwhelmed,” Martin said.
“Victims and witnesses have reported feeling more calm and focused after spending time with the placid pooches, making it easier for them to give evidence,” he added.
“Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is excited that the NSW Government has extended this important partnership, with our therapy dogs and volunteers, looking forward to providing comfort and companionship to hundreds more courts users,” said Dale Cleaver, CEO of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.
Media release, Aug 15
Todd Kirby, Office of Taylor Martin MLC