A 1st, Courthouse Dog Accompanies Witness In NY Trial

Rose, an 11 yr. old Golden Retriever, made history this week in New York when she sat in the witness stand with a 15 yr. old girl testifying in a sexual abuse case against Victor Tohom.  This was the first time a dog was allowed to accompany a witness in the role of therapy dog in a NY court.

Senior deputy prosecuting attorney, Ellen O’Neill-Stephens, in Seattle, founded Courthouse Dogs to provide emotional support to victims and witnesses, especially children.  (Interestingly, she was inspired by her son and his service dog.)  The dogs are specially trained assistance dogs and are handled by a criminal justice professional.  Courthouse dogs are actually there for everyone—victims, witnesses, defendants, lawyers, judges, law enforcement officers, etc.  This seems like such a good idea, maybe especially for those who work in criminal justice.  They see humanity at its absolute worst and it must take a great toll.

18 jurisdictions in Arizona, Idaho, California, Hawaii, Missouri, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas, & Washington have courthouse dog programs.  Cool!

Animal Rescuer Wins Against IRS

Jan Van Dusen, who has fostered over 70 cats, went up against the IRS and won. Good news for animal rescue groups all over the U.S.  Van Dusen had deducted expenses she had incurred while fostering cats for an IRS- approved charity.  The ruling will make it easier for volunteers to help animal rescue groups.  Yea!

Check out the article to learn more and keep your receipts for next year’s taxes, if you’re fostering or providing some other service.

Podcast Episode 109: Keep Your Pets Cool

Saffron makes her podcast debut in Episode 109 – Keep Your Pets Cool!

Lots of ways to help your pets beat the heat.

Click below to play.

You can listen to it here and or on iTunes.  We also have an RSS feed you can subscribe to if you use an RSS reader.

Check out these topics mentioned in the podcast: