A new staff member in the criminal justice system in Montgomery County is proving to be a huge asset in investigations and in the courtroom, helping victims open up about what happened to them.
Her name is Willow and her is a two-year-old Labrador/Retriever mix. She was bred and raised by Canine Companions for Independence, a non-profit organization that trains and provides assistance dogs. Her skills and disposition have made the professionally trained facility dog the perfect fit to work with victims at the One Place Family Justice Center- a victim advocacy center in Montgomery.
"There's a lot of research out there now dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and dealing with crime victims that pets and animals get them to start talking, get them to start engaging again and that's why she's such an important part of the Family Justice Center," said Steve Searcy, the center's executive director.
For victims, young and old alike, rehashing what happened to them is difficult, especially in front of strangers and even their alleged attackers.
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