Thanks to the perseverance and support of the GFWC Cookeville Junior Woman’s Club (Tennessee), assistance dogs like Murch, a Labrador retriever mix, are providing comfort to victims as they testify in court.
For their 2012-2014 Community Improvement Program, the club helped bring Murch to their local Child Advocacy Center. Murch, who comforted a 10-year-old child during a 2014 rape case, became the first dog in Tennessee to be allowed in a court room. The man convicted of raping the child appealed his case because of the dog’s presence.
However, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the decision, and child advocacy centers around the state are now using dogs to comfort children in court. Read more about this important decision by clicking here.