Pima County Attorney's Office therapy dog Russell

Using seized drug profits, the Pima County Attorney’s Office bought Russell from Assistance Dogs of the West for $11,000. (Kelly Presnel/Arizona Daily Star)

It may have slipped past you as quick as a dog out the back door, so I am sharing an article about the increasing use of therapy dogs in the justice system, this time by Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall. (Happy Change of Friday.)

I may have a soft spot for dog stories (which I’ve covered here and here). The fact is, in some situations dogs appear to have a remarkable impact on how well cases can be administered.

As the latest story, from the Arizona Daily Star, opens:

Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall

Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall

“More than 1,000 children who witnessed violent crimes or were themselves abused or neglected were forced last year to share their stories with a stranger at the Southern Arizona Children’s Advocacy Center.

“To ease that process, the center and the Pima County Attorney’s Office are bringing in Russell, a 2-year-old golden retriever and specially trained ‘courthouse facility dog.’

“Over the past few years, prosecutors, law enforcement agencies, victims advocates and forensic interviewers across the nation have begun using specially trained dogs to comfort children as they work their way through the criminal justice process.

“Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall met Ellen O’Neill-Stephens and Celeste Walsen from Courthouse Dogs at a national prosecutors get-together last year and became intrigued.”

Courthouse Dogs logoThe article goes on to describe the creative collaboration between the prosecutor’s office and Courthouse Dogs.

Well done and congratulations to the Pima County Attorney’s Office. You should read the entire article here.

Have a great and pet-filled weekend.