Therapy dogs have ‘repawted’ for duty at Goulburn Courthouse as part of a program to reduce anxiety for vulnerable people, Member for Goulburn Pru Goward and Liberal Candidate for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman announced today.

“Guide Dogs NSW/ACT has finished training a number of lovable Labradors who will attend court on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays to comfort anyone doing it tough,” Ms Goward said.

“The dogs have been specially selected for the Canine Court Companion program because of their gentle nature and ability to happily interact with strangers.”

Ms Tuckerman said the program is being expanded to Goulburn following a successful trial of therapy dogs at Manly Courthouse.

“The pilot program received unanimous support with victims of crime, court staff, stakeholders and police among those who said they felt more relaxed after patting and chatting to the dogs,” Ms Tuckerman said.

In addition to Manly and Goulburn, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT Labradors are also patrolling courts in Burwood, Campbelltown, Gosford, Sutherland and Lismore, with additional regional sites to come over the next four months.

Therapy Dogs will be located in foyers, waiting rooms and safe rooms as required.
“Goulburn Courthouse is a busy and often stressful environment and the sight of floppy ears and wagging tails will be a welcome distraction for court users with a lot on their minds,” Ms Tuckerman said.

“As a dog-lover myself, I know just how much having a furry friend around can lift a person’s mood. This is a great win for our busy regional courthouse.”

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is best known for providing Guide Dogs and other mobility aids to people with sight loss, but has been operating an expanding Pets As Therapy program for over 30 years.