Justice Home > Media & news

Take a short survey to help us improve the DCJ website. Find out more

​Every dog has its day...

'Canine Court Companions' to be expanded to 10 courthouses around NSW

Publication date: Friday, 16 March 2018

In February, Attorney General Mark Speakman announced that after the very successful trial of therapy dogs at Manly Courthouse, therapy dogs will be having their day in 10 courthouses around NSW.

These comforting canines will be coming soon to courthouses in Manly, Nowra, Burwood, Campbelltown, Gosford, Goulburn, Lismore, Orange, Sutherland and Taree. Volunteers will visit these courthouses on one or more mornings a week, and will be present in foyers, waiting areas, safe rooms and witness rooms for anyone who needs them.

Mr Speakman attended Goulburn and Campbelltown in early March to launch the program.

"Therapy dogs have been a huge hit. Paws down, the Canine Court Companion pilot is one of the most popular programs ever trialled in a courthouse, which is why we are expanding the initiative," Mr Speakman said.

The pilot program showed that therapy dogs not only alleviate the stress and anxiety of victims of crimes, or witnesses, they also have a positive effect on staff, police and lawyers who reported a reduction in their stress levels as well.

Qualified therapy dog providers can find out more about applying to be part of the program on the NSW eTendering website.

Above: Hugo, canine court companion, gives a high five... or is that four?