Camila Villafañe

By Camila Villafañe

LifeBuzz Staff

Courtroom Dog Helps Traumatized Witnesses At The Scariest Time Of Their Life.

Dogs are considered man’s best friend. It's one of the only creatures on the planet that will offer you unconditional love and loyalty without expecting a lot from you. Your canine friend can brighten your day and make you happy. According to a finding, physical contact between dogs and humans can be mutually beneficial for both species. There's no comparison to the therapeutic relief we get when these fur balls are around us. But did you know that dogs can also keep human beings calm in professional settings, particularly legal proceedings? Regardless of their breed, every dog that provides this form of therapy requires training.

How Do Canines Take Care of Us?

They provide a significant amount of therapeutic effect to people suffering mental disorders like post traumatic stress disorder, autism, bipolar disorder, etc. For instance, some pooches can be trained to recognize when blood sugar levels are low in a diabetic person or trained to alert an epileptic human of seizures in advance. Famous Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher is bipolar. So she takes her dog Gary with her wherever she goes to help her calm down during manic episodes or depression.

How Do Canines Take Care of Us?

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As part of The Animal League's community outreach program, Companions For Courage uses volunteer teams of handlers and special therapy dogs to ease and otherwise bad situation.

Karl is one of many canines that are a part of this program founded by Judge Turner. The dogs are required to be well groomed, obedient, sociable and affectionate. During stressful situations in and around the courtroom, Karl swoops in and provides special support under conditions nobody else can. ‘Companions for Courage’ is a non-profit organization that focuses on creating a more secure environment for vulnerable children and adults during hearings or court proceedings.

As part of The Animal League's community outreach program, Companions For Courage uses volunteer teams of handlers and special therapy dogs to ease and otherwise bad situation.

Companions for Courage / Facebook

With the assistance of trained dogs like Karl, children and adults are able to handle their anxiety.

Karl and his friends are the silent heroes in the courtroom. With the presence of a fluffy bundle of joy, a horrifying courtroom is no longer a daunting place, and it makes recollection of facts better and therefore, accurate information is provided. Karl, with his trademark floppy hat, makes even the saddest of people smile. This boxer dog never leaves home without his hat.

With the assistance of trained dogs like Karl, children and adults are able to handle their anxiety.

Companions for Courage / Facebook

Karl's particular responsibility is to act as a protector for children.

Children have experienced abuse, neglect, beatings, etc. and the presence of these dogs makes them feel protected and loved. A witness once asked Joanne Hart-Rittenhouse, Karl’s trainer, whether Karl would protect her from her abuser if she is attacked in court. “I doubt very much if he would do anything. But, if that’s what made the child feel better, then absolutely: he’s going to protect you,” stated Joanne.

Karl's particular responsibility is to act as a protector for children.

Companions for Courage / Facebook

Well trained canines help people release pre-courtroom tensions.

"Companions for Courage" dogs stay in the life of an individual until they no longer need help. They exchange smiles and have a great time as they wait their turn in court. Even when it's all over, people often revisit these dogs that helped them through those tough situations.

Well trained canines help people release pre-courtroom tensions.

Companions for Courage / Facebook

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