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Pima County's Courthouse Dog Program expands, 2 new dogs added

Posted at 9:25 PM, Nov 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-13 23:25:47-05

The Pima County Courthouse Dog Program has expanded with the addition of two new dogs.

Baja, a black Labrador Retriever and Jones, a yellow Labrador Retriever are brothers. The two grew up in Northern New Mexico where they were raised and trained by Assistance of Dogs of the West, an organization accredited by Assistance Dogs International. The two can follow more than 100 commands.

The Courthouse dog program is part of a growing movement in courthouses. The dogs provide comfort and emotional support to crime victims, particularly children and other vulnerable people.

Pima County's first Courthouse Dog, Russell, a Golden Retriever has retired from service. Due to Russell's successes, Blake, a black Labrador Retriever, joined the team. Blake continues to provide support throughout the criminal justice process and in the Superior and Justice Courts.

"This program in Pima County has made a significant and positive impact on the experience of many crime victims," said Barbara LaWall, Pima County Attorney. "Now that Russell has retired, we are thrilled to have Jones and Baja on our team to provide invaluable support and solace to even more victims who have experienced horrific crimes."

Jones and Baja will live and worth with victim advocates who have been specially trained.