June 23, 2017—The Florida Bar recognized Rikki’s contributions to pioneering changes to State law by creating the Rikki Mitchell Memorial Animal Achievement Award. At the annual meeting of the Florida Bar, Ralph DeMeo, Chairman of the Animal Law Section of the Florida Bar, announced that “The Rikki Mitchell Memorial Animal Achievement Award is new this year and in honor of therapy dog (and November 2014 Bar Journal Special Animal Law Issue cover dog) Rikki Mitchell, and will go to an exceptional service, therapy, courtroom, law enforcement, first responder, or other Florida animal each year from here on.”
May 2017. The Florida Channel, 2017 Legislative Session Recap: “It’s a Law: Courthouse Therapy Dogs.”
April 2017. Florida Governor signs law expanding areas for courthouse therapy dogs to include dependency and family court. Adds facility dogs and definitions for therapy dogs and facility dogs.
March 2017. Florida Bar Journal: “Justice’ Best Friend.”
July 2016. Chuck Mitchell of TMH Animal Therapy and Florida Courthouse Therapy Dogs invited to speak at the National District Attorney’s Association’s “National Summit on Victim’s Rights” in Boston, Ma.
May 2016. Chuck Mitchell of TMH Animal Therapy and Florida Courthouse Therapy Dogs invited to present with Allie Phillips, ex Deputy Director of the NDAA National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse, at the Animal-Assisted Interventions International Convention in Prague, Czech Republic.
January 2016 – A behind-the-scenes-look at the life of a therapy dog, the book: “Encounters with Rikki: from Hurricane Katrina rescue to exceptional therapy dog.”
October 2015. Florida Courthouse Therapy Dogs video, “Testimony: Truth’s Best Friend” is a finalist for an Emmy in the Public/Current/Community Affairs category.
November 2014 – Rikki, the therapy dog who inspired the 2011 law allowing dogs in the courtroom with vulnerable victims, made the cover of The Florida Bar Journal.
April 2014 – Florida Governor signs law expanding use of courthouse therapy dogs to include those with intellectual disabilities.
July 2013 – Poughkeepsi, NY Appellate Division upholds judgment in July 28, 2011 case where a therapy dog was used to help a child testify. PDF
April 2013 – WCTV “Therapy Dogs Help Out in the Courtroom.” Tallahassee, Florida hosts the largest “swearing in” of court dogs in the nation: http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/Therapy-Dogs-Help-out-in-the-Courtroom-203714151.html
November 2012 – Dog Assisted Therapy: Is Your Dog a Good Fit? By Patricia McConnell, Ph.D.
April 2011 – Florida Governor signs first law in the nation to allow therapy dogs into court to assist child victims of sexual assault.