York County Court welcomes service dog

The Court of Common Pleas of York County is pleased to introduce the newest member of our staff - SSD Philly. Philly is a service dog who is partnered with Judge Andrea Marceca Strong and Judicial Administrative Assistant Kristen Cole.

Philly photo

Philly comes to the Court with the support of President Judge Joseph Adams and all of the judges of the family and juvenile court as well as with the approval of the York County Board of Commissioners. Initial funding for Philly was generously provided by The York County Bar Foundation.

SSD Philly comes from a long line of service dogs. She completed advanced training through Susquehanna Service Dogs, a program of Keystone Human Services, and an accredited member of Assistance Dogs International.

Philly and her partners completed the ADI public access certification as well as SSD certification on Oct. 5. Upon her successful completion, Philly was placed with her partners and approved as a facility dog for the York County Court of Common Pleas.

She will service the Court by providing support to victims of trauma, particularly child victims of abuse and neglect.

"Philly will be serving the children in dependency and custody matters who often find themselves in the middle of a stressful court proceeding through no fault of their own," said Judge Marceca Strong.

It is anticipated that she will be available to provide service in court proceedings as soon as this week, although her training in the courtroom will continue throughout the end of the year.

SSD Philly is another step in the Court’s commitment to reducing trauma and promoting the success of participants in court proceedings. Philly joins dogs Fahrenheit and Buster, who are partnered with members of the York County probation staff and assist in juvenile court proceedings and treatment courts, respectively.

The use of service dogs in the York County courthouse has shown tremendous improvement in interactions with juveniles in the delinquency system and defendants involved in the treatment courts in York.



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