Campbelltown court therapy dog program extended for another year

Fluffy friends will remain a fixture at Campbelltown Courthouse for at least another 12 months.

The state government has approved a 12-month extension of its popular Canine Court Companion program in Campbelltown.

Attorney General Mark Speakman and Lou Amato MLC announced on Thursday that the government would continued funding the program, run by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT in 10 courthouses across 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 therapy dogs attend Campbelltown Courthouse four days a week.

Accompanied by trained handlers, the dogs help bring calm and comfort to people in the foyers, waiting rooms, safe rooms and witness rooms of the court building.

Macarthur Law Society president Sarah Reid said she had seen how effective the therapy dog program had been.

"It's definitely been an excellent result at Campbelltown," she said.

"You can see the benefits of these dogs on the people in court.

"They're less anxious and have a better time."

Ms Reid said the dogs gave court users something to "look forward to".

"There's not always a lot for people to look forward to at the courthouse, so they've made a big difference," she said.

"People love having a dog around to cuddle.

"I'm very happy that this program is being extended."

Mr Amato said the dogs immediately cheered up court users.

"The specially-trained Labradors have a knock for knowing how to cheer people up," he said.

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

The Canine Court Companion program was introduced at Burwood, Gosford, Goulburn, Lismore, Nowra, Sutherland and Wagga Wagga courts in addition to Campbelltown in the past year.

The program also continues to operate in Manly, where it was first trialled in 2017.

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT chief executive Dale Cleaver said the organisation was proud to continue delivering the important program.

"Our therapy dogs and volunteers are looking forward to providing comfort and companionship to hundreds more court users," he said.