Courthouse Therapy Dogs
The Second Judicial Circuit partners with the Office of the State Attorney, Guardian Ad Litem and the Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare (TMH) Animal Therapy Program to provide free animal therapy services to children and vulnerable adults testifying in criminal and dependency court matters. The Courthouse Animal Therapy program offers support to these children and adults when giving statements and testimony in court that would otherwise be difficult or impossible for them to provide. Their statements and testimony allows the court to make better decisions.
Studies have shown that petting an animal reduces blood pressure and heart rate, thus reducing stress and anxiety. It also releases oxytocin and endorphins that help people feel better. Therapy animals provide a calming presence for those testifying in court.