Zuke the court dog brings smiles, comforts when you need it most

When the State Attorney’s Office calls, Zuke comes running to the rescue.

Zuke, or Zuke Vaughn Augustine, is a German Shepherd therapy dog. Court can be stressful for many, and his job is to comfort you during your most vulnerable moments while you’re there.

Last week, Zuke comforted the three victims who accused a former Cape Coral nurse Giovanni Hechavarria of raping or sexually assaulting them when they were patients of his. Hechavarria was found guilty.

During a trial, Zuke got on the floor with a crying woman, laying his head in her lap, before she gave him a big hug.

Zuke the therapy dog (WINK News)

For more than six hours – before, during and after questioning – he helps take the victim’s mind off the horror she faced.

Zuke’s owner says it’s the unconditional love and acceptance, and playful personality, that makes him perfect for the job.

Zuke Vaughn Augustine is part of a court therapy dog program that helped 3,000 people in 2019.

He also goes to Golisano Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Advocacy Center to bring smiles to people’s faces.

Reporter:Morgan Rynor
Writer:Derrick Shaw
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