Courthouse Comfort

Courthouse Comfort Canine Program

In 2015, our Family Court therapy dog program was created in conjunction with The Honorable Judge John Trucilla's Family and Orphans Court Division and The Erie County Office of Children and Youth.  As part of this ground-breaking program, a certified therapy dog team is invited to the Erie County Courthouse every Monday and Wednesday to benefit Erie County children facing a dependency hearing in Family Court.

In 2019, this program expanded to include Veteran's Treatment Court, and the courtrooms of Judge Erin C. Connelly, Erie County Court of Common Pleas; and Judge Marshall Piccininni, Erie County Court of Common Pleas.

How Our Therapy Dogs Help

Studies prove a certified therapy dog can provide comfort and support during a child's legal hearing by helping the child to relax and better focus.  Our team of certified therapy dogs are used to help provide a calming presence by alleviating much of the trauma and stress associated with a dependent child's court appearance.  The ultimate goal of our Courthouse Comfort Canine program is to help families and guardians remain calm which can oftentimes help get the best testimony from the participating child.   Read more about our history here!

Participating Courthouse Therapy Dogs 

Malkin handled by Marian Kohan; Stewie handled by Linda Daughtery; Sadie handled by Bonnie Tarcia; Lily handled by Sue Ferraro; Molly handled by Bob Marks; Ellie handled by Deb Whitman; Caoimhe handled by Carlene Williams; Mariya handled by Tammy Birkmire; Milo handled by Daniel Gibbons; Anne handled by Linda Rakowski

Want to see our dogs in action?  Check this out!

Stew Erie County Court