TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It's the last place you expect to see a dog but a place where the unconditional love and comfort they exude is really needed.
It started with Anna, a comfort dog who was on hand for child victims during a tense trial. And now The Lucas County Courthouse has a resident dog named Ezra. He started in November but is now acclimated with his duties and ready to work.
"He is a gentle giant," said Nancy Borders, Ezra's caretaker.
Ezra is still a puppy, but he loves being at the courthouse.
"He really wants that vest on because he knows he is going somewhere to work because work is fun for him," said Borders.
Ezra's job is to roam the halls, but also be there for those nervous about being in a courtroom to testify or face the person who victimized them.
"Just to see them smile, give them a little bit of a break from what they are dealing with," explained Borders.
Ezra is owned by Lutheran Church Charities, as well as cared for by their volunteers.
LCC has invested around $20,000 into Ezra and her training and will continue to pay for her food vet bills and other needs. But Lutheran Church Charity has placed Ezra at the Lucas County Courthouse to work inside.
"If it can help people in the justice system and and seeking justice then is is worth it for us as Christians to help those who have been victimized," said Tim Hetzner Lutheran Church Charities.
"It's a blessing," said Julia Bates, a Lucas County Prosecutor.
It was Prosecutor Bates dream to have a comfort dog at the Lucas County Courthouse and Ezra is that dog.
Though Ezra isn't up to full capacity yet working a full 40-hour week, he is on n as needed basis at this point.
"We just have to take advantage of it and beat the drum with the staff to say don't even hesitate. If you have a case please lets use this dog because this dog is trained for this and really helping," explained Bates.
Lucas County's success with Ezra is gaining attention. Lutheran Church Charities has been getting requests from other courthouses across the country also interested in starting up a similar program.