In a courtroom, standing alone in front of a crowd has not always been easy. There, we have to be brave to share our story alone as plenty of people watch around you. But then, knowing that someone has our back and be our support system is a huge help. That’s why therapy dogs in the courtrooms serve a huge role in solving cases.
Karl, a white boxer who is born deaf, was adopted by a dog lover named Joanne Hart-Rittenhouse. She didn’t mind that it will be quite challenging to train him. When the two had developed a type of command in sign language, Joanne found out that Karl is a compassionate and sweet dog. He was also quite smart as he was able to learn over 100 signs.
As a therapy dog in the courtroom, his inability to hear proved to be a good advantage. Dogs are likely to get distracted by any loud noises, but as for Karl who can’t hear anything, he would only pay attention to the child he is accompanying on the stand.
Before the actual hearing happens, children are taught several gestures for them to be able to communicate with their therapy dog. With these simple commands, they could make him sit beside them, lay his head on their laps, stay under the table, or any other gestures that could make them feel comfortable and secured.
One time in a particular case last 2016, a little girl was requested to testify against a man who hurt her. She was brought to the courtroom and asked to the stand. However, the girl was absolutely terrified even to say a word. But seeing Karl’s gentle face beside her made her remember that with him, she knew she was secured.
The girl signaled him to move closer to her and lay under her seat. She then removed her shoes, and she smoothly rubbed her feet in his smooth fur, making her feel that Karl is there to support her. Eventually, she told the judge every detail of what has happened to her. Thanks to Karl, the brave little girl got a dangerous man imprisoned.
According to Joanne, Karl also makes some visits to hospitals and libraries to help plenty of children. She even said that because of Karl’s popularity he has his very own coloring book.
Watch Karl’s very significant role in the courtroom here.
Courtesy of amcknews