Episode 1 – History Of The Courthouse Dogs Foundation With Ellen O’Neill Stephens

Founder of The Courthouse Dogs Foundation Ellen joins Colleen & Jim this week to share the history of the organization. This deeply personal journey into her career and personal life will shed a light on the passion behind this project. They also help define some of the terms you’ll hear in the episodes going forward.

Episode Highlights

1:20 – Ellen’s early career

3:00 – Sean (Ellen’s son is born)

5:15 – A growing career as a prosecutor

8:30 – Becoming aware of secondary trauma

10:00 – Ellen adjusts her approach toward  people in this process. 

13:00 – Sean’s long term needs lead to the discovery of service dogs.

18:30 – Ellen’s first dog training experience

20:21 – Training the people who handle dogs

24:20 – Ellen learns how K-9 Companions utilized dogs in many scenarios

26:30 – Jeeter comes home but a complication arises. 

30:00 – What a Facility Dog Is

34:30 – Differences between your dog and a Facility Dog


Prosecutor – Someone who represents the state and when a law has been broken, they are responsible for holding a person accountable. (Mentioned at 6 minute)

Drug Court – Specialized court to manage drug offences. 

Facility Dog – Expertly trained dog partnered with a human to facilitate a specific outcome for those that the dog serves.  

Links To Resources: 

Canine Companions For Independence

Assistants Dogs Of the West 

Chelsea & Jeeter

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