Service Dog Program

Peace’s Handlers

Jess Ferrantino
Child Advocacy Center Coordinator

Kate Guinan
CPCA Marketing Associate

Aram Mergian
Dutchess County District Attorney Investigator

Thank you to Peace's sponsors

Thank you to Peace's sponsors

Compassion Veterinary Center
Van Norton Family Foundation

About the Service Dog Progam

In 2011, an eleven-year-old golden retriever by the name of Rosie became the first judicially approved courtroom dog in New York State. Accompanying a 15-year-old child in Dutchess County Criminal Court, Rosie’s presence at the child’s feet lowered her  stress and provided comfort as she testified against her abuser. The success of the trial led to a bill allowing specially trained service dogs to accompany a victim in court to help reduce further psychological trauma.

Before bringing on the CPCA’s first full-time service dog, our agency would often employ Bosch, Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office trained service dog from Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities (ECAD), the same organization that raised and trained Rosie. Seeing how positively children responded to Bosch’s presence and knowing the history of Rosie’s case, the CPCA spent three years raising funds to bring on our own full-time service dog so that every child who came to the Child Advocacy Center could receive emotional support. Thanks to the generosity of the Dean Family Charitable Foundation, Consigli Construction NY, LLC, Alexandra Putnam, and many other private donations, our wish was fulfilled in 2020.

Meet Peace

Peace started at the CPCA in December 2020, just before his 2nd birthday. He received the same specialized training from ECAD and understands over 50 commands. His name is a perfect reflection of his demeanor and what he is able to provide to the children and families we serve. He brings ease to families coming in to our Child Advocacy Center, provides comfort to children during forensic interviews and therapy sessions, and so much more. We also anticipate that he will have the ability to support a victim in court if necessary.

His presence at our agency has changed how we are able to help children and families in crisis. If you would like to support Peace and our Service Dog Program, please give a gift in his honor by clicking the button below.

35 Van Wagner Road
Poughkeepsie, New York 12603
Monday–Friday 9AM to 5PM