2021 Workshops

Virtual workshops for courthouse facility dog handlers and other professionals involved in Courthouse Dog Programs.

These one-hour workshops are offered live at 11 AM on Wednesdays each month and are also available as recordings afterward if you are unable to attend in person.

The cost for each workshop is just $25. The registration link is available for each workshop below.

Please note – The material in these workshops is intended for professionals who are partnered with a certified facility dog from an ADI accredited assistance dog organization.


David Crenshaw and ECAD Ace

May 12 – Using a Facility Dog in Play Therapy with Abused Children with Dr. David Crenshaw

Please email us if you would like to register and view the recorded video from this workshop and receive the handouts.

David A. Crenshaw, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S, is Clinical Director of the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie, New York, and Adjunct Faculty at Marist College. He has taught graduate courses in play therapy at Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University and has published widely on child and adolescent therapy, child abuse and trauma, and resilience in children. A Fellow of the American Psychological Association and of its Division of Child and Adolescent Psychology, Dr. Crenshaw has received lifetime achievement awards from the New York Association for Play Therapy and the Hudson Valley Psychological Association. He is a past chair of the board of directors of the Coalition against Sexual and Domestic Abuse and a member of the professional advisory board of the Courthouse Dogs Foundation.

Over the past 10 years, Dr. Crenshaw has worked with 5 different facility dogs, all trained by ECAD. In 2011, he played a key role in having the first facility dog in the state of New York accompany a testifying witness in the courtroom – Rosie.  Later that same year, Ivy, Rosie’s sister was donated to the Children’s Home by ECAD to work with the children. The dog in the accompanying photo is Ace, Rosie’s grandson who currently works at the Children’s Home, as well as facility dogs Marshall and Elvis.

Dr. Crenshaw will be speaking with us about how he utilizes facility dogs in his work as a play therapist with abused children.


Elizabeth Holman and CCI Tootsie

May 26 – Surviving the Loss of Your Facility Dog  with Dr. Elizabeth Holman

Please email us if you would like to register and view the recorded video from this workshop and receive the handouts.

Elizabeth Holman, PsyD, is a Palliative Care Psychologist for the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center in Colorado and is partnered with CCI facility dog Tootsie. Her first facility dog, Waffle, died suddenly in October of 2017. Dr. Holman has also raised a CCI puppy who went on to become courthouse facility dog Calhoun, who is handled by Joy Lucero in Montana.

Dr. Holman will discuss with us the impact on the individual handler when your facility dog becomes ill or dies, as well as the impact on the wider community, many of whom feel a deep connection to your dog. How do you deal with your grief and that of the community members, often while contending with pressure to apply for a new dog for your agency?


Jim Ha and ADW Frannie

June 9 – New Findings in Canine Behavior with Dr. James Ha

Please email us if you would like to register and view the recorded video from this workshop and receive the handouts.

James Ha earned a Ph.D. in Animal Behavior from Colorado State Univ. (1989), and professional credentialing as a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB) in 2004.  After a 26-year academic career studying social behavior in several species of birds and mammals including dogs and cats, he is currently an Emeritus Research Professor at the Univ. of Washington. He is co-director of the University of Washington’s Certificate in Applied Animal Behavior education program. He published his first popular book in 2019, Dog Behavior: Modern Science and Our Canine Companions, with his co-author Tracy Campion. He is currently working with his wife Dr. Renee Ha and Ms. Campion on a new book about the scientific evidence, or lack thereof, for breed differences among dogs. He is also consulting with the Department of Justice on establishing Federal guidelines for Facility and Crisis-Response Dogs and continues to provide expert testimony in criminal and civil legal cases.

Dr. Ha will bring us updates from the growing field of canine behavior research to help us better understand our facility dogs.



Kristin Kirkby Shaw and Arrow

June 23 – Canine Fitness with Dr. Kristin Kirkby Shaw

Please email us if you would like to register and view the recorded video from this workshop and receive the handouts.

Dr. Kristin Kirkby Shaw is a small animal surgeon and rehabilitation specialist whose career has focused on bridging the gap between these two disciplines. Kristin received her DVM from the University of Florida (UF) in 2003, followed by a rotating internship at Veterinary Specialists of Northern Colorado, and a small animal surgery residency at the University of Florida. Kristin completed both her MS and Ph.D. at UF.

Many of you may remember Dr. Kirkby Shaw from her presentations at our 2017 and 2018 conferences. She has now founded Canine Arthritis Resources and Education (CARE – CanineArthritis.org), a free resource to help dog owners navigate osteoarthritis with their veterinarian and learn evidence-guided techniques to improve their dog’s quality of life.

Dr. Kirkby Shaw will speak to us about canine fitness and how to maintain our facility dogs at a proper weight throughout their lives.


Liz Spruin and Duo Oliver

July 14 – Research You Can Use with Dr. Elizabeth Spruin

Please email us if you would like to register and view the recorded video from this workshop and receive the handouts.

Dr. Spruin is a Senior Lecturer at the Canterbury Christ University in England, and the handler of courthouse facility dog Oliver, trained by Duo Dogs in St. Louis. Dr. Spruin is an active researcher with an interest in forensic and investigative psychology. Her current research focuses on implementing and evaluating the use of specially trained dogs throughout the criminal justice system.

Dr. Spruin is the Founder and Director of the Justice Support Dogs International Lab at her university, which was established to promote the use of professionally trained Justice Facility Dogs (also known as ‘facility dogs’) in the UK Criminal Justice System.

Dr. Spruin will summarize current research that can be applied to our work with facility dogs, especially when judges and other stakeholders want to know why the addition of a dog to the justice system is beneficial.


July 28 – Preparing your Facility Dog for Forensic Interviews and the Courtroom with Michele Thames and Chelsey Hucker

Michele Thames and CCI Virgil

Please email us if you would like to register and view the recorded video from this workshop and receive the handouts.

Michele Thames is the Executive Director of the SafeSpot Children’s Advocacy Center of Fairfax County Virginia and is partnered with facility dog Virgil, trained by Canine Companions for Independence. Prior to receiving Virgil, Michele was the handler of (now retired) facility dog Pecos, also trained by CCI. Michele is a trained Forensic Interviewer and has conducted over 3,000 forensic interviews. Michele is a board member of the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Virginia and faculty for ChildFirst Virginia.

Michele will talk with us about how to prepare your facility dog to assist children and youth during forensic interviews.




Chelsey Hucker and CCI Roma

Chelsey Hucker is the Executive Director of the Foothills Alliance Children’s Advocacy Center in Anderson, South Carolina. She previously served as an Assistant Solicitor for the Anderson County Solicitor’s Office, which is where she acquired her facility dog Roma from CCI in 2015 and began the first Courthouse Dog Program in the state of South Carolina.

Chelsey will speak with us about preparing your facility dog to accompany a testifying witness in the courtroom.



August 11 – A Judge’s Perspective with Jeanette Dalton

Please email us if you would like to register and view the recorded video from this workshop.

The Honorable Jeanette Dalton served as a Superior Court judge in Kitsap County, Washington from 2008 to 2020. Prior to this time, she had served 24 years as a prosecutor and defense attorney.
During her time as a judge, the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office acquired a courthouse facility dog named Kerris from Canine Companions for Independence. Judge Dalton became an avid supporter of using facility dogs in the courtroom after observing the impact that Kerris had on the administration of justice.
Judge Dalton will speak with us about why a courthouse facility dog is of benefit in the courtroom and give us tips on how to communicate productively with judges.


Tia Froh and PADS Merlot

September 8 – Improving Your Program’s Social Media with Tia Froh and Naomi Strawhorn

Please email us if you would like to register and view the recorded video from this workshop.

Sgt. Tia Froh has been a Police Officer with the Regina Police service in Regina, Saskatchewan for more than 18 years, and has been partnered with facility dog Merlot, trained by PADS, since 2015. Tia and Merlot primarily work out of the Regina Children’s Justice Centre, an integrated unit in which the Regina Police Services, local health services, and the Crown Prosecutor’s office respond to reports of child abuse. There they assist child victims of sexual assault, abuse, or neglect.


Naomi Strawhorn and CCI Remi

Naomi Strawhorn is the Victim Services Coordinator at CASA of Hancock County, Mississippi. In August 2020, Naomi became the handler for Remi, trained by Canine Companions for Independence. Naomi supervises CASA volunteers assigned to children in the foster care system and provides trauma-informed training for foster parents and caregivers. Together, Remi and Naomi accompany child victims to youth court hearings, & forensic interviews. They have made a big splash as the only courthouse facility dog working in Mississippi!


Tia and Naomi will talk with us about how their social media campaigns contribute to the mission of their agencies and share their experiences of what makes a great photo of your facility dog. We will also learn what software tools to use in order to create appealing videos of our dogs at work and play.




Julie Morrison and ADA Lucy

October 13 – Engaging with Adult Witnesses and Victims with Julie Morrison

Please email us if you would like to register and view the recorded video from this workshop.

Please note – different time – this live workshop will take place at 3 PM Pacific, as our speaker is in Australia.

Julie Morrison is the Victim Engagement Coordinator for the Victims and Witnesses Assistance Service at the Office of Public Prosecutions in Victoria, Australia. Julie established the first Courthouse Dog Program in her country in 2019 when she received Lucy, trained by Assistance Dogs Australia. Julie’s extensive research for the Winston Churchill Trust was instrumental in persuading the government to establish this program. You can read more and download her published report here – Study of the Use of Dogs in Court.

Julie is going to talk with us about how to engage with adult victims and witnesses utilizing your facility dog. You can see a video of Julie’s work with Lucy and read about what they do on the OPP website here – Court Dog Program.



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