LUBBOCK, Texas — A new bill recently passed in the U.S. Senate would allow certified dogs into federal courtrooms to help witnesses testify.
The ‘Courthouse Dog Act’ was introduced by Texas Senator, John Cornyn.
Pam Alexander-Schneider with Lubbock Victim Assistance Services, said it’s often terrifying for victims to take the stand, especially children.
“People don’t realize it is a trauma,” Alexander-Schneider said. ” I mean you’re having to relive the crime that you saw, or that was done to you, and you’re reliving it in front of a whole bunch of strangers.”
Alexander-Schneider said she has already seen success from bringing a dog to court, when Lubbock Police Department’s therapy dog, Justice, comforted a young child before they testified in a homicide trial.
According to the bill, the canines must be trained and graduate from an accredited program in order to enter the courtroom.
The next step is for the House to pass the bill before it goes to President Trump for his signature.