ELYRIA — Since his arrival at the Lorain County Justice Center as a comfort dog with the Lorain County Prosecutors Office, Farley has pretty much done nothing but spread joy throughout the community.
Rather than just have a party for his third birthday, the prosecutor’s office decided to raise funds for Friendship Animal Protective League.
Earlier this week, the Lorain County Deputies Association, which represents the rank-and-file deputies of the Sheriff’s Office, chipped in by donating $500.
Deputy Adam Shaw said the Deputies Association holds an annual fundraiser that brings in money through ticket sales, raffles and donations. Then throughout the year, deputies bring up various causes to donate money to and the association then votes to decide where the money will be donated.
Donating to Farley was kind of a no-brainer.
“We see Farley every day,” Shaw, who serves as secretary for the Deputies Association, said. “We see the work he does, and everybody is happy to see him. Farley is probably the happiest employee here.”
Shaw said the deputies also work with dogs often, as the department has a total of six K-9 units. He also said the APL is a great organization to help support.
Anne Marie Victor, who works as a victim advocate with the prosecutor’s office and is Farley’s handler, said the fundraising effort was “a huge success.” She estimated the fundraiser for Farley’s birthday raised between $1,500 and $2,000, and donations still are coming in.
Victor also said she took “five big boxes full of stuff” to Friendship APL that included things like toys, blankets, towels, leashes, collars, food, kitty litter and kitty-litter box liners. She still has a couple of 50-pound bags of dog food that were donated as well.
She called the fundraiser “an amazing outpouring from everyone in the building.”
Once she did an interview on a local radio station, the donations began pouring in from those in the community.
Farley was brought to the prosecutor’s office to assist victims and witnesses of crimes as their court cases work through the court system. It can often be difficult for people having to relive traumatic events over and over again.
He also is able to assist children who have to testify in court by sitting at their feet while they’re on the witness stand.
Victor said the Deputies Association donating money for Farley’s birthday was a pretty big deal since the dog has developed quite a relationship with them.
“It was huge. Farley sees them every day,” she said. “They’re usually the first ones he sees when he gets in. They’re always pretty excited to see him. It’s a little pick-me-up for everybody in the building, if you ask me. It makes everybody’s day a little better when they get to see him.”
Victor said she hopes to have more fundraisers throughout the year with Farley.
The Deputies Association also is planning on doing more outreach with the community, including events targeting children who live in the townships around Lorain County.