Letter: Reaction to therapy dogs is magical

Published:

 

We read the May 27 story, “Judges growl over dog in court,” on some judges having problems with dogs being in their “sterile” courtrooms. Surely, these judges must be aware that therapy dogs have been working in the Clark County Juvenile facility for many years. We know, because three of these dogs, Earnie, Porkchop, and now Harlow, all Goldens, are our dogs. There was also a wonderful Newfie named “Doc,” who worked with these kids for many years.

We are civilian volunteers, sworn in by a judge. All the dogs are certified, first through the Humane Society and currently through Dove Lewis and the Delta Society. While the dogs do not work directly in the courtroom, they work in other areas of the detention facility. We’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of juveniles over the years in different settings. In many cases, the reaction these kids have to these loving dogs is magical. The dogs are very calming. It’s amazing the stories we’ve heard when a Golden is literally in the lap of one of these juveniles.

We say go for it. What can it hurt to try? You can teach an old dog new tricks, by the way.

Michael and Scotty Richardson

Vancouver