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Hamilton County News

Posted on: September 19, 2022

Coroner’s Office Recruits New Deputy Coroner

Canine Deputy Coroner Simon

Boxer Puppy Deputized as New Therapy Dog


There’s a new deputy in town and Hamilton County Coroner John Chalfin says, “he’s a good boy!” Deputy Simon is an 11-month-old Boxer. His job is to comfort grieving families and serve as an office therapy dog for staff at the Coroner’s Office.

“I grew up showing and training dogs,” says Deputy Coroner Sarah Lockhart, who got the idea for a therapy dog from the Noblesville Police Department. “I’ve raised Simon since he was 13 weeks old and noticed his temperament was perfect for the job. He’s super calm and loves to snuggle.”

Simon recently completed a four-week private class tailored toward therapy work where he received his “Canine Good Citizen Award.” He now works the night shift with Deputy Lockhart where he’s responsible for keeping morale up at the office.

“There are calls that we go out on to that can be really disturbing and stress us out,” says Deputy Lockhart, who recently responded to a call that involved a long-time friend. “He’s just a really good decompression tool for us.”

But Simon’s biggest responsibility is tending to grieving families. “He greets families who come to the office and sits with them, especially kids, while we meet. If the situation is just right, he can also be called out to the scene.”

The American Kennel Cub says visits from a therapy dog can lower blood pressure and heart rate, reduce patient anxiety, and increase levels of endorphins and oxytocin.

“Simon is good medicine for those who have been through traumatic events,” Chalfin adds. "We really hope that he is able to go out and give comfort to witnesses and family members and help reduce the heightened short-term anxiety following a death.”

You can follow Deputy Simon on his personal Instagram account at @Deputy_Coroner_Simon.

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