More paw and order at Sutherland Local Court

Hounds abound: Attorney General Mark Speakman with one of the companion dogs Sutherland Local Court, which will continue to provide therapy dogs. Picture: John Veage
Hounds abound: Attorney General Mark Speakman with one of the companion dogs Sutherland Local Court, which will continue to provide therapy dogs. Picture: John Veage

The tail wags have proven to be quite a barking success at Sutherland Local Court.

A therapy dog program that was designed to ease stress for Sutherland Court users will now be extended for a further 12 months.

Since it was introduced in 2018, the Canine Court Companion Program has received overwhelming support.

The NSW government will continue to fund Guide Dogs NSW/ACT to keep the service operating in 10 sites in metropolitan and regional NSW until July 2020.

The dogs attend Sutherland Courthouse four days a week, patrolling foyers, waiting rooms, safe rooms and witness rooms.

Heathcote MP says the specially-trained Labradors have "won hearts" at the courthouse.

"[They have] provided significant comfort to people feeling anxious or overwhelmed," Mr Evans said.

"Victims and witnesses have reported feeling more calm and focused after spending time with the placid pooches, making it easier for them to give evidence."

"I'm pleased victims of crime, lawyers and police will be among those who continue to enjoy the benefits of pet therapy," Attorney General Mark Speakman said.

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 more than 30 years.

"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," chief executive of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, Dale Cleaver, said.

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