Promoting Justice with Compassion

Courthouse Dogs Foundation

Expert education and guidance for legal professionals

Courthouse Dog at work
Molly B at the King County Courthouse. Molly B was bred and trained by Canine Companions for Independence. Photo courtesy Seattle Police Department.

Educational Outreach

Association of Family
and Conciliation Courts
Annual Conference
New Orleans, LA
May 28

Victims Assistance
Advocacy Program
Leelanau County
Prosecuting Attorney's Office
Sutton's Bay, MI
June 9 - 10

2015 International
Courthouse Dogs
October 5 - 6

Contact us to arrange a workshop in your area about courthouse dogs.

Find us on Facebook

Facility Dogs at Children’s Advocacy Centers and in Legal Proceedings: Best Practices
In collaboration with the Western Regional Children’s Advocacy Center (WRCAC) and funded by a grant from the
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency,
Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice

We are delighted to announce the publication of a manual on the best way to
utilize facility dogs to provide emotional support to child victims and witnesses in the
legal system.

Download the manual from WRCAC website.

Facility dogs at Children's Advoacacy Centers and in Legal Proceedings


Since 2003 facility dogs have provided comfort to sexually abused children while they undergo forensic interviews and testify in court. These dogs also assist treatment court participants in their recovery, visit juveniles in detention facilities, greet jurors and lift the spirits of courthouse staff who often conduct their business in an adversarial setting.

These expertly trained facility dogs specialize in assisting individuals with physical, psychological, or emotional trauma due to criminal conduct.  The dogs should be graduates from assistance dog organizations that are accredited members of Assistance Dogs International to ensure that they do not create a public danger and are stable, well-behaved, and unobtrusive to the public. Facility dogs in the legal system are handled by criminal justice professionals, such as a deputy prosecutor, a law enforcement officer, a victim advocate, or a forensic interviewer.

The use of these facility dogs can help bring about a major change in how we meet the emotional needs of all involved in the criminal justice system. Their calming presence promotes justice with compassion.

COURTHOUSE DOGS is the trademark of Courthouse Dogs Foundation
For usage information, please contact Ellen O’Neill-Stephens