The use of special placid, friendly dogs in a NSW court room has provided much comfort and support to those facing the stressors of court.
In NSW therapy dog trial was undertaken whereby “comfort dogs” were used to help victims and witnesses of crime to give evidence in court by having the friendly dogs sit by their side while they gave evidence or took part in the proceedings.
The results of the nine month therapy dog trial at Manly found the dogs greatly reduced anxiety and benefited the victims and witnesses of crime. It helped them get through the ordeal of giving evidence or participating in the trial.
The therapy dog trial was so successful that they will be increasing the dogs’ participation to 10 court rooms around NSW. This novel approach will hopefully have the effect of making the process easier for those suffering from trauma and anxiety. It will also go a long way to ensuring that those victims or witnesses are more likely to speak out. The flow on effect, as per feed back from the legal community, has been that it also makes for a friendlier courtroom environment for practitioners and court staff.