HAMILTON COUNTY — Death scenes can be traumatic for families, friends and sometimes staff at the Hamilton County Coroner's Office.
Now, the office has a new team member to support employees.
Simon is an 11-month-old boxer. He's working with his owner, Deputy Coroner Sarah Lockhart, to provide comfort and smiles to employees.
"It can be really, really hard. We see some things that, you know, people shouldn't have to see or deal with. We're also having to help the families through it and the friends who have these loved ones that pass away. It can be very difficult," Lockhart said.
Lockhart plans to get Simon certified as a therapy dog so he can greet families visiting the coroner's office and, if the situation is right, go to scenes.
"He's had a great response at the office. Everyone loves him. They all come out and play ball with him," Lockhart said. "It gives us something to do when we get back ... just kinda brightens our day."
Simon is Lockhart's dog, and she pays for his daily care and training.
"He starts getting amped up when I get ready for work. He knows, he's got kind of an internal clock," Lockhart said.
Simon has been with the coroner's office for about a month. In the future, Lockhart also wants to bring Simon to help other first responders like fire and EMS.
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