The Ventura County District Attorney’s Courthouse Facility Dog Program. This program is designed to aid in the investigation and prosecution of crimes by providing crime victims and witnesses neutral support as they navigate the criminal justice system. Studies have shown that facility dogs provide both physical and emotional benefit to vulnerable victims, resulting in more accurate testimony in the judicial system. Courthouse facility dogs are currently used in 38 states and over 20 district attorney’s offices in California.
Two black Labrador retrievers, “Star” and “Trakr,” have been placed with the District Attorney’s Office by Assistance Dogs of the West, a training facility accredited by Assistance Dogs International. These facility dogs have each received over two years of training and, with their handlers, have passed a public access test. They were chosen by Assistance Dogs of the West to train as facility dogs due to their calm demeanor and temperament to work with children and adults in courtrooms, public settings, and in facilities where stress levels are high. Star and Trakr will assist in interviews, case preparation, testimony and sentencing along with providing support to visitors and staff at the Hall of Justice and Family Justice Center.