Maricopa County Attorney’s Office training fourth dog to help children through trial process

Maricopa County Attorney's Office training fourth dog to help children through trial process

One of the newest members of the Maricopa County Law Firm is a 16-month-old Goldendoodle.

The dog becomes the fourth member of the county’s K9 Victim Support Program, which began in 2010.

Coco still has a few weeks of training. Her handler Rachel Burr said she was learning basic commands and how to sit still.

“Your job with me will be to provide camaraderie and relieve some of your stress during the trial,” said Burr.

You will work with children who are victims of crime and who need that extra support through the judicial process. Elle, a 7-year-old golden retriever, and her handler Cindy Walker have been doing the job for five years.

“At the Children’s Office, we do baby murders, we do sexual abuse, we do physical abuse,” said Walker.

Many of these children were traumatized and often fearful of the trial.

“The prosecutors and I are going to sit on the floor with a victim petting Elle and they can get it out that way. That is an amazing impact for all of these victims,” ​​Walker said.

Elle is one of three dogs at work. You comfort the victims and guide them through the entire process, including interviews, testimony, testimony and convictions. When they’re up to date, Elle will lie quietly under them.

“They read to Elle, they braid their hair, it just makes them so much more comfortable,” said Walker.

The dogs are in great demand and are often asked to work with adults. Victim attorneys said having a fourth puppy will enable them to help so many more victims.

All dogs must undergo intensive training and be certified every year. Coco still has a few weeks of training before she can start working.