Join the Mariposa County District Attorney's Office Victim Witness Services Assistance Program as we host an open house at our office and welcome our new addition, Courthouse Facility Dog Ellie, to our program. Born in 2019 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and trained by Assistance Dogs of the West, Ellie is black Labrador retriever who performs over 90 cues and commands.
Courthouse facility dogs assist crime victims and witnesses during stressful stages of legal proceedings such as child forensic interviews and trials and are handled by professionals in these fields. Courtroom proceedings are stressful enough for most people, children and other vulnerable witnesses and victims may find testifying in court especially stressful. Many cases involving child abuse never go to trial, as children are often too stressed, anxious, or otherwise unable to provide effective testimony of their experiences.
Ellie has been specifically trained to work with the vulnerable populations that our victim witness assistance advocates serve daily. As a working dog, Ellie’s role will be there to assist children and victims of crime engaged in the criminal justice process.