Two support dogs in the San Francisco District Attorney office have worked with more than 300 crime victims in the past 12 months.

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Having Trouble In Court System? San Francisco DA Has Dogs To Help

Margie Shafer
July 06, 2018 - 10:47 am

The San Francisco District Attorney’s office has become a dog-friendly environment. 

Two service animals have been brought on board to help comfort the victims of crimes who are called to testify in court or discuss their painful experiences with prosecutors.

“They are meant to work with our most vulnerable victims who usually are elderly and our children victims,” said Gena Castro Rodriguez, chief of victims services for the DA. “They can be in any interview. They can be in any meeting with them. They can even go on the stand and testify with them. They provide a lot of support.”

These support dogs are Pink, a female Labrador, and Red, a male golden retriever-Labrador mix. They underwent special training for courthouse settings at Assistance Dogs of the West in New Mexico.

Studies have shown crime victims benefit physically and emotionally from the calming influence of animals. Eleven counties in California have dogs in similar roles, Castro Rodriguez said. 

In the past year, Pink and Red have worked with more than 300 victims.

“They’re very busy,” Castro Rodriguez said.