August 9, 2023

VBCWA Office Announces Newest Employee: Facility Dog, Zuhey

Virginia Beach, Va. – Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth's Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announces the addition of a new employee, Facility Dog Zuhey. Zuhey is a 5-year-old Labrador Retriever who joined the Office on June 16, 2023. After extensive training through Service Dogs of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, Zuhey and her handlers work together daily at the Office to ease anxiety for crime victims and relieve stress for CWA Office employees.

Crime victims and witnesses have likely experienced some level of trauma and are often uneasy or anxious when meeting with prosecutors to prepare for trial. Zuhey provides comfort and support to crime victims and witnesses during interviews and trial preparation. Prosecutors and support staff see and hear about criminal acts of violence perpetrated against citizens every day. Zuhey also helps prosecutors and CWA Office staff to effectively manage vicarious or secondary trauma associated with the nature of their jobs.

"A lot of the victims and witnesses coming to the courthouse are coming here to re-live the worst moments of their life," Stolle said. "To have to explain those to a judge, a jury, or an attorney can be a stressful event on top of everything they've gone through. Just Zuhey's presence gives people the ability to make it through these very difficult times."

"My staff and attorneys in the office every day deal with secondary trauma through all of the cases they deal with. Their eyes light up when Zuhey makes her rounds through the office. We feel so lucky to be able to provide this experience to the citizens of Virginia Beach, but also to members of the office."

Zuhey resides with her primary handler, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Robin Bland, and spends time in the Victim-Witness Office during the workday with her secondary handler, Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Patrick Connolly.

Service Dogs of Virginia is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that raises, trains, and places dogs to assist people with disabilities and provides facility dogs for courthouses, counseling centers, schools, and other therapeutic settings. For more information on SDV, visit

For more information, contact Public Information Officer Macie Allen.

Contact Information

Keep Reading

See All Posts