Therapy Dog Allowed in New York Courtroom for the First Time

Paz the therapy dog was allowed to help an adult witness testify in court this week.
Photo by Kevin Hagen for The New York Times

When a 30-year-old woman testified about a horrible crime in which she and her daughter were victims in a Brooklyn courtroom on Tuesday, history was made. As she described the traumatic events of the crime, the woman reached out and hugged a 5-year-old Australian Labradoodle named Paz—her therapy dog. Throughout the trial, Paz had been relegated to waiting outside the courtroom, but things were different this time:

But on Tuesday, Paz was lying next to the woman, as a result, a spokesman for the Brooklyn district attorney’s office said, of a recent court decision that allows therapy dogs to accompany children in courtrooms in New York. When the prosecution asked Justice John G. Ingram for permission to have Paz in the courtroom on Tuesday, he allowed it.

This is a great step forward for allowing these caring animals to help people endure such difficult situations. Let’s hope we see a lot more of this.

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One thought on “Therapy Dog Allowed in New York Courtroom for the First Time”

  1. Hi,
    I am Paz’s owner and we are a registered Pet Partner therapy team. I am delighted this story has received so much positive feedback, because it truly exemplifies the powerful healing power of the human animal bond, and the potential for therapy dogs to provide much needed support to victims of violent crime. I felt priveleged that Paz was able to assist this very courageous woman gain justice and ultimately, in a court room, confront this man who had committed horrific crimes against her and her child. I hope this story serves as a model so that other crime victims can benefit by the invaluable assistance of a therapy animal.

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