Training people for successful partnerships with courthouse facility dogs

2024 International Courthouse Dogs Conference

September 4, 2024 to September 6, 2024, Bellevue, WA

Facility dogs in the news:

Dogs in the Courtroom: The Increasingly Widespread Use of Facility Dogs in Courtrooms

What is a courthouse facility dog?

Courthouse facility dogs are professionally trained dogs working throughout the country in prosecutor’s offices, child advocacy centers, and family courts. They primarily provide a calming influence for children during stressful legal proceedings.

As legally neutral companions for witnesses during the investigation and prosecution of crimes, these dogs help the most vulnerable witnesses feel willing and able to describe what happened. The dogs also provide emotional support to participants in family court proceedings and in specialty/treatment courts.

Develop an outstanding Courthouse Dog Program

Courthouse Dogs Foundation is a nonprofit organization that promotes the use of facility dog to provide support to vulnerable people during stressful legal proceedings. These dogs are graduates from assistance dog organization that are members of Assistance Dogs International and they are handled by professionals working in the legal system.

How Courthouse Dogs Foundation assists you through the process of obtaining a facility dog for your organization.

These programs work

Courthouse facility dogs provide a compassionate way to help traumatized victims tell their stories. Because of the success of this program, more participants in law enforcement and the judicial system are recognizing its value and seeking information about how to get started.

For people interested in starting a courthouse facility dogs program in your organization, we can help you:

Educate decision makers about the benefits of a courthouse dog program.

Learn how

Learn how to acquire the right kind of dog for your organization.

Learn how

Ensure you’re working with the dog in the most effective ways in the courtroom.

Learn how

Teach others in your organization how to work with the dog.

Learn how

Our best practices manual

This manual provides information about: starting a courthouse facility dog program in your organization; using courthouse facility dogs at a children’s advocacy center; and using courthouse facility dogs in the courtroom

Download PDF manual

Contact us for a free consultation

Learn how to start a Courthouse Dog Program in your agency. From “How is this different from a therapy dog?” to “How does this work with our unique challenges?”, we’d like to help your program start off on the right foot.



  • Dogs in the Courtroom: The Increasingly Widespread Use of Facility Dogs in Courtrooms

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  • Canine companions in the courtroom – Will dogs in court soon become common practice?

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  • Courthouse comfort dog Hatty melts away anxiety for reticent young abuse victims

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  • Justice facility dogs: The quiet, skilled heroes helping child victims

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  • From the Doghouse to the Courthouse: Facility Dogs as Trial Aids for Vulnerable Witnesses

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  • How Iggy and fellow courthouse dogs lend a paw to make trials less scary for young witnesses

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  • Four-legged therapist offers unconditional support at the SAFV Centre

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