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 Marucci, Erie County Court of Common Pleas; and Judge Marshall Piccininni, Erie County Court of Common Pleas; and President Judge Joseph M. Walsh III.
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!