Worker at prosecutor's office has 'calming spirit'

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Peanut is pictured with members of the Child Protection Unit (standing, left to right): Lisa Lozen, Colleen Worden, Lesia Fedorak, Mark Laws, Elizabeth Arbus and Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Toia along with (kneeling) Elizabeth Rittinger, Molly Zappitell, Peanut and Karen Phillips.

Photo courtesy of the prosecutor’s office


The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office has a new addition to its staff — Peanut the Prosecutor, a therapy dog.

The yellow lab came from the Canine Advocacy Program (CAP) in connection with CARE House to help survivors of trauma participate in the criminal justice system. Among other things, the program is focused on helping child survivors of trauma and abuse cope with the anxiety, depression and stress associated with various court proceedings.

Prosecutor Peter Lucido said Peanut was donated to the office by Leader Dogs For the Blind and training was provided by CAP, which means that no taxpayer funding was involved.

Lucido said Peanut will assist adolescents and adults participate in court proceedings. The individual will be able to meet and play with the dog before court, according to the prosecutor, relieving anxiety and stress.

Peanut will stay with the individual for the entire day and sit next to them in court as long as the judge allows it.

When the dog isn’t on the job, he’s being taken care of by Assistant Prosecutor Mark Laws and his family. Laws takes Peanut home with him every night and brings him back to work in the morning.  

“Peanut brings a calming spirit to the office,” Laws said. “He is very sociable and loves people and I think they will love him too.”  

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