Is the Courtroom Going to the Dogs?

02/12/2010 11:42

Most people have the perception of courtrooms as being very formal, stodgy and intimidating, but there is a movement to help make them a softer, gentler, furrier place.  A nonprofit organization, Courthouse Dogs, has a mission to bring trained dogs into both civil and criminal proceedings in courtrooms across the country.  Advocates of the program believe that having a dog around reduces the tension and adversarial nature that typically shapes the courtroom atmosphere.  Instead of launching into the proceedings, parties and counsel may break the ice by petting the dogs and children involved in courtroom drama are put at ease by seeing the canines.  So far, there are more than a dozen states either with an existing dog program or trying to start one.  Check out the link above to learn more about it and I'm always happy to hear your thoughts.  Hat Tip to the ABA Journal.