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Sunday, October 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Huckleberries Online

Courthouse dog comforts victims

Peggy Frye, the Victim Witness Unit Coordinator/Dog Handler from the Bonner County Prosecutors Office with Ken, the courtroom comfort dog at the Bonner County Courthouse on Monday, November 23, 2015. Ken was present in the courtroom to give support for a woman giving victim impact statement. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Peggy Frye, the Victim Witness Unit Coordinator/Dog Handler from the Bonner County Prosecutors Office with Ken, the courtroom comfort dog at the Bonner County Courthouse on Monday, November 23, 2015. Ken was present in the courtroom to give support for a woman giving victim impact statement. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

A young mother sat before a judge in Sandpoint last week and gave a heart-wrenching statement about the sexual abuse of her 21-month-old daughter. “I’m here today to see that man is put away behind bars for what he did to my baby girl,” she said. Two attorneys sat between her and her ex-boyfriend, who was about to be sentenced to prison for lewd conduct with a minor. Scenes like this are all too common in courtrooms. But on this day, for this nervous and devastated mom, there was something new. At her side all morning was the reassuring presence of Ken, a retriever mix with a sweet face and a serene disposition. Waiting for her turn to speak, the woman sat in the gallery with friends at her side and Ken’s head resting in her lap. Then he lay at her feet as she described the pain and shattered trust the abuse had wrought/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Would you like to see a comfort dog in the Kootenai County Courthouse, too?




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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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