Therapy dogs provide comfort to in court

nc_courtdogs1020_1500x845Fresno, Calif. (KSEE) — California’s Fresno County District Attorney is calling on therapy dogs to help children and other victims of crimes feel comfortable while taking the witness stand.

District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp says she expects the dogs to be busy.

“A lot of the times you’re asking little children about very adult things. Sometimes you are asking them to talk about some of the worst things that have ever happened in their life, so if they can have a dog to make them comfortable and make them feel safe, we are happy to provide that service,” said Smittcamp.

Barbara Handly trains some of the therapy dogs. She brought the first dog into a Fresno County courtroom this week to support a young girl on the witness stand.

“When she would get upset and start to cry they would call for a break and then the dog would get up and put his paws around her neck and licked her face until she quit crying and then she’d be ready to testify again and the dog would go back under the witness stand,” said Handly.

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