Courthouse companion dog interacted with hundreds of witnesses, victims in 2019

Lancaster

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — The Lancaster County Courthouse Companion Dog Tresi interacted with about 250 people last year, serving as a calming presence in emotional meetings, hearings, and other court-related functions.

Tresi, a four-year-old yellow lab has been under the care of the District Attorney’s Office since early 2018. Her primary purpose is to comfort children and adult witnesses and victims involved in the court process.

Tresi attended over 25 court hearings during 2019, including sentencing and guilty plea proceedings.

She now has her own “business cards,” which are available to visitors to the district attorney’s office. The cards include photos of Tresi, along with her bio information, such as her hobbies which include playing tug-of-war and eating treats. A mission statement on the card reads: “Tresi’s purpose is to provide comfort, support and stress relief for victims and witnesses of crime as they navigate through the court process.”

The dog was raised by a volunteer in a puppy home for the Canine Partners for Life for her first year. A grant provided funding for Tresi to relocate to the DA’s Office. Her primary handler is victim-witness advocate Karin Young. Several other members of the DA’s office are also trained to handle her.

The district attorney’s office is located at 50 North Duke Street, 5th Floor, Lancaster, PA 17608.

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