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Courthouse Dogs

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Courthouse Dogs Foundation is dedicated to promoting justice through the use of professionally trained dogs to provide emotional support to everyone in the criminal justice system. They offer their experience and expertise to assist your agency or jurisdiction in the development of a successful facility dog program.

Since 2003 courthouse dogs have provided comfort to sexually abused children while they undergo forensic interviews and testify in court. These dogs also assist treatment court participants in their recovery, visit juveniles in detention facilities, greet jurors and lift the spirits of courthouse staff who often conduct their business in an adversarial setting.

Courthouse dogs specialize in assisting individuals with physical, psychological, or emotional trauma due to criminal conduct. These facility dogs should be graduates from assistance dog organizations that are accredited members of Assistance Dogs International to ensure that they do not create a public danger and are stable, well-behaved, and unobtrusive to the public. Courthouse facility dogs are handled by criminal justice professionals, such as a deputy prosecutor, a law enforcement officer, a victim advocate, or a forensic interviewer.

The use of courthouse dogs can help bring about a major change in how we meet the emotional needs of all involved in the criminal justice system. Their calming presence promotes justice with compassion.


Christopher C Charles

Purdue University

Location Edmonds, WA
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • (2013), "Courthouse Dogs,"

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  1. Animal-assisted activities
  2. Animal-assisted therapies
  3. Animal visitation programs
  4. Criminals
  5. Dogs
  6. Justice
  7. Mammals
  8. victims