Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit Florida Courthouse Therapy Dogs Program is one of the largest in the country. They have successfully used therapy teams in hundreds of criminal events and dependency dockets since the program began in 2007. As of June, 2017, 26 courthouse therapy teams are working in judicial applications. Their website includes documents such as a volunteer application, animal therapy home study guide, an oath of confidentiality for criminal divisions as well as dependency divisions; procedures, protocols for use of animal therapy teams in jury trials; the courts administrator opinion on court staff as animal therapy volunteers and more: 2ndcircuit.leoncountyfl.gov/petTherapy.php
Tallahassee Memorial Animal Therapy Program (www.tmh.org/AnimalTherapy) currently has over 150 certified therapy teams and four facility dogs serving over 60 facilities in the greater Tallahassee, Florida region. The Program works with the Second Circuit to provide additional training for the teams serving the courts in the Second Judicial Circuit of Florida, and currently provides 26 teams to work in the 2nd Circuit.
- For Court Personnel PDF: 4 Steps for Developing a Courthouse Therapy Dog Program in Your Jurisdiction.
- Letter to Legislators PDF: A Victim’s Advocate supports therapy dogs in the courtroom and gives examples.
- The 2011 Florida Law PDF: The first in the nation to allow therapy dogs into courtrooms during criminal cases, under certain circumstances.
- The 2014 Florida Law PDF: Allows therapy dogs into courtrooms during criminal cases to support other vulnerable victims.
- Letter to the Editor Article: Letter to the Baltimore Sun by Jack Campbell, then assistant state attorney (elected as state attorney in 2017) for the Second Judicial Circuit of Florida, giving examples of the efficacy of courthouse therapy dogs.
- National District Attorneys Association Task Force PDF: created a list of recommendations on “The Use of Therapy Animals In Judicial Proceedings.”
- Therapy Animals Supporting Kids (TASK) Program PDF.
- The 2017 Florida Law PDF: Allows therapy dogs and facility dogs into
dependency and family courts; adds definitions for therapy dogs and