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Dogs for Better Lives Partners with Courthouse Dogs Foundation to Place Facility Dogs With Legal Professionals

By July 26, 2022 No Comments

Central Point, OR – A new partnership between Dogs for Better Lives (DBL) and Courthouse Dogs ® Foundation (CDF) is making it possible to place Facility Dogs in a legal setting where dogs can make a positive impact. Courthouse Dogs Foundation is a Washington State based nonprofit that trains professionals working in the legal system for successful partnerships with courthouse facility dogs.

Courthouse Facility Dogs provide an invaluable source of comfort and support for vulnerable people, especially children, during stressful legal proceedings. When victims and witnesses are asked to describe a traumatic event in their lives, this can trigger a cascade of emotions that interferes with their ability to think and express themselves. Research has shown that the soothing presence of these specially trained Facility Dogs can reduce this emotional response because witnesses don’t become as overwhelmed and are better able engage with the process.

Courthouse Dogs ® Foundation is a Washington State based nonprofit that trains professionals working in the legal system for successful partnerships with courthouse facility dogs.

“These special dogs provide a compassionate way to help traumatized victims tell their stories,” said Ellen O’Neill-Stephens, JD, Founder and Policy Director at CDF.

“The utilization of this type of facility dog is supported by the American Bar Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Because of the success of this program, more professionals involved in the investigation of crimes are recognizing their value and seeking information about how to acquire them,” O’Neill-Stephens added.

“The legal system can be complex placement for a facility dog, and we are incredibly excited about this partnership with CDF,” said Trish Welch, VP of Operations at DBL. “We have already begun to see the fruits of this partnership with upcoming placements of our facility dogs in courthouses, police agencies, and child advocacy centers. CDF has been an amazing resource for DBL and our clients and we look forward to our partnership to improve the justice system in this unique way.”

Learn more about Courthouse Dogs Foundation.

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