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October 28, 2017 6:06 am

Therapy Dog Cleared for Courthouse Work

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 @ 12:25 PM

Prince George, B.C. – Don’t be surprised  if  you spot a fur friend  at the Prince George courthouse. therapydog2

The Therapy Dog program, operated by the Prince George RCMP Victim Services Section,  will see ‘Max’, a seven year old Yellow Lab, available to accompany  victims and witnesses to interviews as well as sit with them while they wait for their turn to testify.

(at right, Max  sits and waits – photo submitted)

“Max has the perfect temperament for this kind of work” says Krista Levar, coordinator for the  Prince George RCMP Victim Services Section. “He is calm and quiet, content to just sit by a person.  I have been working with him on hand signals so I could offer some assistance from afar if need be.”

The Prince George courthouse is only the second courthouse in the Province to have approved this aspect of the Therapy Dog program.

“This is a wonderful step forward in appreciating victim’s needs and in providing victim support in a unique and creative way” says Levar, “Gathering the courage to attend court and to testify during a trial is a daunting task for anyone. If ‘Max’ can make that a bit easier then we have accomplished a wonderful thing.”

The Therapy Dog program through RCMP Victim Services, has been  operating in Prince George for a year and a half. Levar says she will be heading to Vancouver for a special meeting with E Division to talk about policies and best practices for this kind of service.

Levar says  young people seem to connect with the dogs, and those connections have led to  some  success stories “There are two that stick out in my mind. The first resulted in a disclosure of a crime from a child that would only talk to ‘Max’ about what had happened to him.  The second was watching ‘Grimmus’ make a connection with a child in foster care who identified with Grimmus’ who was a foster dog.”

The  dogs  are personal pets, so there is no added cost to the detachment for their care.

The dogs also benefit the officers at the Prince George detachment. Max   goes to the Victim Services office at the detachment most days and is just the fur friend some officers need to help reduce stress levels, “He just brightens up the day  for everyone” says Levar.


I have no doubt this will make a huge difference for victims and witnesses.
It’s been a long time coming. Many dogs are highly intuitive and I can really see the need for them.
My question now is, which lawyer is going to try and ban the dog, because, they will try. “Your Honor, my client has dog allergies” isn’t what I mean.

I am sure if someone has allergies they will let the dog handler know…
if the handler doesn’t keep the dog away only then is there a problem for the sheriffs or judges to deal with..
This has been becoming more popular in courts for years… if it helps a child or person make it through the maze BONUS

Bc, you don’t understand, but that’s okay, lawyers unfortunately keep chipping away for a loophole, hope they don’t find one for this.
Huge bonus for victims.

I get what you are saying Grizzly…
and yes there are lawyers who will pursue anything just because they can…and to try and make a name for themselves, no matter what the name is…
I think in the end they will lose but until then, lets hope they have little or no success…

Why not make this dog a Judge ? Has to be better than what we have now !!

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