Girl Testifying In Court Gets Crucial Help From Therapy Dog

The comfort that an animal can provide you may help you overcome fears and feel secure enough to speak up. Especially when it come to children that have to testify their truth. That’s why service animals are allowed in the courtrooms. So children can seek comfort and become more confident in front of the judges. That’s our case today.

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19. SIGN LANGUAGE

It’s really difficult for a dog to be deaf. It takes a lot of training and effort from the owner to achieve a certain level of communication. However,  Karl, a deaf boxer, was really lucky and got adopted by a woman who was willing to help him. Nobody could ever imagine how this deaf dog would end up being a hero! Click next to learn more!

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Joanne Hart-Rittenhouse who already had other three dogs, didn’t seem to mind that Karl was deaf. She knew that training him would be a challenge, but she was ready to fight for him and invest her time in order to learn him obey to signs language. That was really tough job! Do you want to know how the deaf pup managed to communicate? Click next!

18. THREE SIBLINGS

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Joanne’s other three boxers had already become therapy dog and that’s what she wanted to achieve with Karl, too.  After some training, Karl managed to understand about 100 commands in sign language. It was incredible! Moreover, the little pup was really sympathetic and compassionate. Click next to find out how, he managed to save the day!

17. TRAINING

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Even though Karl was well- behaved and ready to help people. There was a major problem. Karl was deaf and he could only understand commands in sign language, so the people that would work with him, need to learn to communicate in sign language, too.

16. THERAPY DOGGO

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However, Karl wasn’t destined to become a regular service dog. Instead, he would become a therapy dog that would help children that were really afraid to speak up in the courtroom.  And the  most important thing was that his disability would help even more!

15. ADVANTAGE

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Because Karl was deaf, he wouldn’t be distracted by the noises inside the courtroom, so he would be focused on the child that he would be with. and ready to help at any time it needed to.

14. REALLY HELPFUL

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Karl started helping children deal with their fears through Companions for Courage which was a program with that cause. “As soon as the kids realize the biker is there for them, they want the biggest one they can find,” said Laura Brimmer, who was a K9th-Circuit manager. “And I think it’s the same with the dog.”

13. ALWAYS WEARING HIS BLUE HAT

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However, because Karl was working with kids, his large size could scare children away and make them feel uncomfortable. That’s why he would always wear a blue hat, in order to seem more approachable to the children that he was working with.

12. LEARNING HOW TO TRUST

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Every time that a child has to testify in the court, there are some sessions that the child has to go through in order to be prepared for the court. During these sessions Karl’s presence  has proven to be really helpful for the children.

11. COMFORTING

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The children also practice many times before the trial, the ways that they can communicate with Karl in order for both of them to be ready for that tough day. As a result, during the trial, a child can ask Karl to come closer if they feel afraid or nervous.

10. FILLED WITH FEAR

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That was the case for a little girl in 2016 who was filled with fear when she had to testify about the man that had abused and caused her many serious problems. It was really hard for a little girl to stand in the courtroom and speak up.

9. A TOUGH JOB

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“She knew the gentleman who had wronged her was going to be in that courtroom, and she really had a fear to go in front of him and tell him what he did to her” Joanne Hart-Rittenhouse said.

8. SKEPTICAL

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At their first meeting the girl was a bit skeptical about Karl. “Is he going to protect me?” she asked. However, when the girl realized that Karl was there to support her and be by her side, she felt strong enough and ready for the trial.

7. RECALLING BAD MEMORIES

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It was definitely really difficult for her to recall these bad memories of what the man had caused her in order to testify in the courtroom. She was only a kid and the whole situation was really challenging for a young child.

6. FROZEN

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As a result, when the time came for the little girl to speak up in the courtroom, she froze. She was really terrified and the words just didn’t come out of her mouth. However, her testimony was crucial, due to the fact that without it the man that caused her so much trouble would go free.

5. HELPING EACH OTHER

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Even though the little child was really scared, she looked down to Karl and when he looked at her, she remembered that with him by her side she was strong enough to overcome everything. However, she needed to feel him, too.

4. SURPRISE

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Because the girl couldn’t reach down in order to pet him, she did something undetectable. She took off her shoes and started running her feet through his soft fur. As a result, she started feeling more comfortable and ready to testify about what that man had done to her and she managed to speak.

3. JUSTICE

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Even though Karl is the best therapy dog for children that have to testify in a trial, he also visits hospitals and libraries. “We’ll be there as long as the child wants Karl to stay in their life. He’s helped a lot of children,” said Joanne

2. NOT SO LUCKY

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Unfortunately, not all deaf dogs are as lucky as Karl was. For example, Echo was given to a family from a breeder and neither of them knew that she was deaf and she couldn’t obey to their rules. As a result, the family stop feeding her and decided to put her down. The poor animal ended up eating rocks.

1. A BETTER LIFE

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However, Marion Dwyer and  local rescue team managed to save the poor pup and to provide her with everything she needed. Marion, managed to train Echo and make her a happy dog that knew that she was in a place filled with love and food.

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