Each Monday Bono the golden retriever patrols the corridors at Orange Courthouse with one mission, to get pats.
Bono goes to the courthouse with his owner, Canine Court Companion Program pet therapy volunteer Pam Davis who said they started participating in the program in March 2019 until March 2020.
"Of course, with COVID we had to stop the program and we resumed in March 2021," Ms Davis said.
However, she said during the break caused by COVID-19 precautions, "Bono was a little bit sad because he so loves the program".
"He has done pet therapy for eight years and when we applied for the program he was assessed by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT," Ms Davis said.
She said he was given a great welcome back this year by the court staff.
"Everyone was really enthusiastic, really welcomed him back, and he just loves visiting," Ms Davis said.
"He just loves being back."
She said as well as the court staff he is well received by legal representatives, people appearing in court and their family and friends who come to support them.
"It calms people, he just has a really calming influence on the court users," Ms Davis said.
"I just know the value of pet therapy I've been involved in pet therapy since 2004, I just know it makes a difference.
"If you make even one person smile its worth going in, even if that's all you get."
Another therapy dog Marshall also visits the courthouse on other days.
Attorney General Mark Speakman said the Canine Court Companion Program is a partnership initiative led by Victims Services and Court Services, with each dog receiving up to two years of intensive training with Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.
"The therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers play an important role by easing the stress of attending court for children, vulnerable witnesses and victims of domestic violence," Mr Speakman said.
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