BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) – Efforts are underway in Monroe County to bring trained dogs to the courthouse in Bloomington.
It’s a program similar to one in Porter County, where court officials say the dogs have helped witnesses find the courage to testify under difficult circumstances. Celeste Walsen, executive director of the Seattle-based Courthouse Dogs Foundation, tells The (Bloomington) Herald Times that courts across the country have used facility animals for at least a decade during child witness and victim depositions and testimonies.
Studies have shown that the interaction between animals and humans helps calm anxieties and reduce stress.
Walsen says courthouse dogs help a vulnerable individual feel comfortable enough to talk about what they have experienced or seen.
A request to purchase a courthouse dog for Monroe County was approved last month.