SAN LUIS OBISPO — San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow announced Wednesday, Oct. 7, that the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the implementation of a Courthouse Dog Program for the District Attorney’s Office Christopher G. Money Victim Witness Assistance Center.
The District Attorney’s Office began working on developing this innovative program several years ago to provide distressed crime victims and witnesses exceptional emotional care, a stronger sense of security, and enhance supportive services during both the investigation process and prosecution of criminal cases.
“Our new Courthouse Dog will provide lots of needed love, emotional support, and attention to many survivors of crime while they are experiencing the not-so-fun aspects of the justice system,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “We are excited for the November arrival of our new canine member of the DA family.”
In the wake of recent budget cuts, this innovative service for victims would not be possible without the generosity of the Lucille Brughelli Trust and the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Advisory Foundation.
“The Sheriff’s Advisory Foundation is pleased to be able to provide funds for the Courthouse Dog Program that incorporate a highly trained dog to provide unmatched emotional support for the victims of, and witnesses to, crime during the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases,” said Chuck Houck, Sheriff’s Advisory Foundation Chair. “With the continued growth of our county and the financial effects of the COVID-19 shutdowns, there is not enough money available to provide all of the sophisticated, costly and updated equipment, personnel, and training our local law enforcement need. The Sheriff’s Advisory Foundation, a public benefit corporation, receives donations from the citizens of San Luis Obispo County to be used to augment the needs of our local law enforcement.”
The trained Certified Facility Dog will be obtained through Assistance Dogs International (ADI) and is bread for optimal temperament to work with both children and adults alike in highly stressful situations and settings to provide comfort and promote that person’s well-being.
The District Attorney’s Office expects to bring home their new addition next month and will soon be able to begin offering Courthouse Dog support services to crime victims and witnesses.