The Twelfth Judicial Circuit provides volunteer pet therapy teams for juvenile dependency hearings and delinquency arraignments to provide comfort and emotional support for court participants, and particularly the children going through the court process. The teams – dogs and their human handlers – undergo and pass evaluations and court-related training. Additionally, the handlers undergo and pass criminal background checks, sign oaths of confidentiality, and are required to have pets that are certified as pet therapy animals. Handlers must provide proof of current membership in the underlying pet therapy organization to Court Administration along with a copy of the liability insurance policy provided by the pet therapy organization and on a yearly basis.
Pet therapy teams are identified by their official Twelfth Judicial Circuit ID badge that identifies both handler and pet. The handlers also wear shirts that identifies the handler as a pet therapy team when attending court. Dogs wear the red bandanna provided by the court.
For more information about the 14th District Judicial Court System Certified Pet Therapy Program click on this link: Pet Therapy