WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Jedi, a 5-year-old Labrador-Golden Retriever mix, works as a facility dog at the Lycoming County Courthouse. One of his biggest roles is to support the kids that come into the Lycoming County court system.
"We have dependency kids, juvenile delinquents, victims of crime like sexual assaults that he sits with," said Jerri Rook, Jedi's handler.
"Kids have to come back in front of me every three months. They have to see the judge. That can tend to be a scary situation for kids, but now a lot of kids identify that they are coming to see Jedi and not coming to see the judge," said Judge Joy Reynolds McCoy.
Just recently, Jedi and his handler, Jerri Rook, who also works at the courthouse, learned some unfortunate news. Jedi has been diagnosed with lymphoma, cancer that affects the cells.
"He is my third dog with cancer, so I have been through this before, but this one is the worst," said Rook.
For the next six months, Jedi will have to undergo chemotherapy.
"He could go into remission for years. It is never cured. This cancer can never be cured, and it is always going to come back, and we will continue to do chemo until his body stops responding to chemo," said Rook.
Folks who work at the courthouse say Jedi has made a huge impact on them over the years.
"He is valued by everybody in the legal community, and we are finding out that he is valued by people in the community at large as well," said Michele Frey, the executive director of the Lycoming Law Association.
"We have all kinds of people in this courthouse who work here and go out of their way to come see him every single day. At some point, it is definitely a stress reliever for them," said Judge McCoy.
If you would like to donate to help with Jedi's medical treatments, you can do so by making a donation to the Lycoming County Children and Youth Services. Just make sure to reference Jedi when making the donation.
Check out WNEP's YouTube page.