A lesser-known role service dogs can be trained to occupy is that of a facility dog. Partnered with its handler, a service dog can receive customized training for work in organizations such as the judicial system to provide comfort and stability to individuals in highly stressful court cases. A facility dog is basically a service or therapy dog that works within a specific type of organization to provide services in collaboration with their handler’s direction. Some more well-known facility dog roles are therapeutic partnerships with nursing homes, mental health care facilities, juvenile detention facilities, and prison systems.

In the last thirty years or so, court systems across the United States have begun to recognize the unique benefits of having facility service dogs available to provide support during difficult court cases. As early as 1989, trained dogs have been assisting victims of crimes to navigate difficult court cases with a greater feeling of security. In 2004 an organization named Canine Companions for Independence became the first known organization of its kind in the United States to specifically place a service dog for victim support purposes. This was a Labrador Retriever mix named Ellie who served in a prosecutor’s office based in Seattle, Washington. Several years later in 2012, this successful partnership helped to inspire the conception of Courthouse Dogs Foundation. By 2015, twenty-six states had developed programs where facility service and therapy dogs partnered with judicial systems to support crime victims.

Read More: https://www.newlifek9s.org/news-events/blog/service-dog-blog.html/article/2021/07/01/how-facility-service-dogs-help-crime-victims-in-court-rooms