Using Courtroom Facility Dogs to Assist Your Case
It’s a fact of life that witnesses get nervous having to testify in court. For some, particularly children, it can be a very scary experience, particularly due to the subject matter they may have to talk about (sexual assault, physical abuse, or violence) or the person in front of whom they have to testify (a coach, a parent, or another relative). While courts often are willing to make accommodations for children to ease their anxiety, a relatively new option for witnesses is to have a courthouse or facility dog accompany them to the stand. This presentation will focus on emerging case law and relevant statutes, references and resources that advocates can present to a court, consideration of options to use the dog in other non-court settings such as forensic and witness interviews, and an introduction and overview to the training and experience of the working team of a facility dog and her handler.