Therapy dogs are a great resource to help those who are feeling anxious, depressed, or if someone is just in need of comfort. Therapy pups often times will work with you through a traumatic experience, and their calm, cute and cuddly faces really make you feel safe. A not so common space for therapy dogs, however, is the courtroom. Luckily, Maine is working on training one pup for the courthouse in Aroostock County, which will be the first in the state!
Meet little Holiday, a 14-week-old Yellow Labrador. She was donated by Karley Allen of Northern Woods Labs. Holiday hasn't started her first shift at the courthouse yet, but she is up and running in her training session with Tyler Jones, owner of Purpose Pups.
How cute is she?! That is one good pup! Holiday will go through about two years of training, or 208 hours, before she is a licensed courthouse dog. By the end of training, she will be able to walk to the witness stand on command, remain seated, and stay still and silent. She will also work with the district attorney during investigations and of course, keep morale up for employees working on traumatic cases.
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“Courthouse facility dogs can provide a sense of normalcy during juvenile and family court proceedings, and can accompany vulnerable crime victims, including children, rape victims, developmentally delayed adults and the elderly during investigations and court proceedings,” said Aroostook County District Attorney Todd Collins. “They can also provide emotional comfort to family members during the trial and sentencing of the offender.”
Holiday will most likely be working with children and victims of violent crimes throughout the legal process, Collins said. We can't wait to see all the people Holiday helps! And we wish her luck on her training!