Australia’s 1st-Ever Court Dog Gets “Sworn In” To Ease Tension Amid Stressful Cases.

Court Dog Lucy with friends in Melbourne

These days, emotional support and therapy dogs are popping up in even the most professional of settings.

In the United States, almost 300 court dogs work within the judicial system to help lower the emotional temperature of the work. Now, a court in Australia has followed the trend, inviting a 5-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever called Lucy to be the nation’s first-ever court dog.

Lucy is not a permanent part of the Melbourne Family Court team just yet, but if this pilot project is a success, another therapy dog will take her place in three months. Lucy herself belongs to the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions. She will spend one day a week in family court, where she’ll provide comfort and support to both children and adults who need it. She will be right there in the courtroom as victims and witnesses give evidence, mediations, and interviews.

“The science tells us that the mere presence of a dog that is specially trained for the justice environment reduces cortisol levels and anxiety,” said judge Amanda Mansini.

According to Judge Mansini, one needs only to look at the United States to see how successfully animals can be incorporated into the legal system.

“These [overseas] experiences tell us that a court dog is especially helpful to vulnerable people, such as children, victims of domestic violence, and also those of diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds,” she said. “It really seems to be a developing trend in the justice system.”

“The reaction of the whole court has been overwhelmingly positive,” the judge continued.

One of the cutest things Lucy has been trained to do in the courtroom is to bow to the judge when she enters the room. This is customary in the Australian courts, and Judge Mansini says the trick never fails to put a smile on her face.

“Lucy is absolutely beautiful,” she said. “She has a range of tricks, but one of the most endearing tricks in the courtroom environment is that she’s been taught how to bow — which is really sweet.”

Dogs have a way of making our lives easier, don’t they? Lucy is brining the love and positivity to the people who need it most! We’re sure this pilot program will be a huge success in Australia, just as it has been in the U.S.

Watch the video below to learn more about Lucy, and don’t forget to share with a dog lover.

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