Pawsitive News for Manly Court Therapy Dog Program

Therapy dogs will continue to bring smiles to the faces of people feeling anxious at Manly Courthouse, with the NSW Government extending the popular Canine Court Companion program for a further 12 months.

Attorney General Mark Speakman and Member for Manly James Griffin today announced that the NSW Government would continue funding Guide Dogs NSW/ACT to keep the service operating at 10 courthouses in suburban and regional NSW.

“The program has been a feel-good hit, with everyone from victims of crime to Sheriff’s Officers raving about the ‘pawsitive’ impact of four-legged friends at courthouses,” Mr Speakman said.

The placid pooches attend Manly Courthouse three days a week, bringing their unique fur therapy to foyers, waiting rooms, safe rooms and witness rooms.

“The specially-trained Labradors have a knack for knowing how to cheer people up,” Mr Griffin said.

“The simple act of patting a gentle and friendly dog can eliminate tension and take people’s minds off a stressful court situation.”

Over the past year, the NSW Government has gradually introduced the Canine Court Companion program in partnership with Guide Dogs NSW/Act at courts in Burwood, Campbelltown, Gosford, Goulburn, Lismore, Nowra, Orange, Sutherland and Wagga Wagga.

The program also continues to operate at Manly, where court therapy dogs were first trialled in 2017.

 “Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is excited 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,” Dale Cleaver, CEO of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT said.