The Judges of Cumberland County were seeking a facilities dog to work within the Court System of Cumberland County. They were trying to address the debilitating fear, stress, and, in some instances, hyperactivity associated with users of the Justice System. Adults and children compelled to be present for initial and follow-up interviews, pre-hearing conferences, and hearings, and those made to wait as part of the process are the persons the facilities dog can help alleviate some of these concerns.
This need was fulfilled when Diego was acquired from Susquehanna Service Dogs.
The facility's primary use is with the Juvenile System of the Courts, primarily dependency actions for the treatment of neglected or abused children and, as available, for delinquency actions for the treatment of youth accused of a criminal act. In addition, a facilities dog provides emotional support to an adult or child without undue or improper legal influence on the ultimate reason that child or adult has been required to appear before the caseworker, probation officer, hearing master, or Judge. Further, the caseworkers and probation officers who work in these high-stress environments would find that a facility dog improves the quality of their work.
With the successful implementation of Diego, there were additional needs by the county to support other areas of the court, which includes mental health and substance abuse cases, and the solution to the needs of Cumberland County residents appearing in court was met when Susquehanna Service Dogs retained Drachma.
As funds continue to be raised for the upkeep of the emotional support dogs, including regular veterinarian bills and food expenses, a need for a third dog has presented itself. Stay tuned to learn more about Cumberland County Courthouse's third dog and what role it will serve.
We have applied for a third dog that will support The Victims Services District Attorney's office. Check back to learn more about our new friend!
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