Izzy comforts kids in court




The Juvenile Division at Macomb County Circuit Court has recruited its newest member — Izzy the therapy dog.

The court worked closely with the Office of the County Executive and Macomb County Animal Control to prepare the Golden Doodle for her new role.

“Coming to court can be an intimidating experience for kids,” said Macomb County ?Circuit Court Chief Judge James Biernat Jr. “It is my hope that Izzy can be a soothing influence and ease anxieties for troubled youth.

“We are pleased to offer this important resource to the families that we serve.”

Izzy was rescued from a dog hoarding situation where she spent most of her time in a crate, according to a press release issued Monday by the court.

She was adopted from Macomb County Animal Control and has been preparing for her new role by participating in an intensive Therapy Dog Training Program with handler (and Juvenile Division Case Work Supervisor) Amy Mitchell.

The program started with 19 days of residential training for Izzy and hours of handler training for Amy.

Currently, Amy and Izzy participate in biweekly training sessions in order to maximize Izzy’s therapeutic benefits.

 In her role as a therapy dog, court officials said Izzy will provide comfort and support to youth and families who are receiving services through the Juvenile Division.

Although the Juvenile Division Therapy Dog Program has only been in existence for a few months, Amy and Izzy have already had a huge impact, officials said.

Vulnerable, fragile and anxious victims and litigants have expressed sincere gratitude for Izzy’s presence, they added.

Court partners, including DHHS and CMH have written to thank the Juvenile Division for Izzy’s assistance.

“We are pleased to offer this important resource to the families that we serve,” Biernat said.


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