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Dog facilitates child testimony

September 6, 2006 permalink

Texas allows a dog to accompany children while testifying in court.



Bexar County allows dog to calm children testifying in court

SAN ANTONIO Chance the golden retriever has a new job in the Bexar (BEHR) County courts. County commissioners have approved a plan to let the dog help calm children who must testify in family court.

Commissioners agreed to allow Chance in the courthouse after District Attorney Susan Reed and other children's advocates asserted the dog wouldn't expose the county to any undue liability.

The eight-year-old shaggy male will be the county's first "society" dog -- similar to those that work in hospitals, prisons and psychiatric wards to help calm difficult situations. Chance will spend time with children forced to testify during emotionally difficult cases involving their families.

Chance's owner is Child Protective Services court liaison Becky Snodgrass. She says the dog's training has been informal, made up of being around children over the years.

Source: San Antonio Express-News