Merel, an 18 month old labrador, is helping to relieve the fears of children and teens testifying in court, either as witnesses or victims . The first of her kind in Ontario, Canada, Merel is a service dog with the Child Witness Program.
According to Rachel Crawford, the program coordinator, Merel plays a calming and supportive role. “…[S]he’s very gentle. She’s very loving…She’ll often sit right on the couch beside the child with her head on their lap or she’ll sit at their feet.” Crawford adds, “It’s sort of hard to know how I ever did my work without her. She helps build an instant rapport. ” Continue reading