Guide Dogs SA/NT and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) are undertaking an innovative pilot program for Court Companion Dogs in South Australia.
Earlier this year, the Guide Dogs SA/NT Dog Services team embarked on a new initiative, training South Australia’s first Canine Court Companion, Zero.
“This 9-month pilot program will see how Zero can make a difference to the often demanding court process, by providing quiet companionship to vulnerable victims and witnesses”, states Guide Dogs SA/NT.
Zero’s such a dapper chap! Here he is, South Australia’s first Canine Court Companion, ready to meet the Heads of the Supreme, District & Magistrates Courts. Read more about Zero’s work supporting victims of crime in our Paw Prints newsletter: https://t.co/dsOBpkFpkK #DogTwitter pic.twitter.com/BfzsPHgtTD— Guide Dogs SA/NT (@GuideDogsSANT) August 2, 2019
Zero, a three year-old black Labrador, was specifically chosen for his calm and gentle nature, adaptability and behaviour with children.
“Zero has been taught to lie or sit quietly next to a child, or on his mat, and introduce himself to the children by bowing. To create a relationship with the children he was also taught to play ‘play and retrieve, to ‘read’ his book, and cuddle.”
According to The West Australian, “if his training continues successfully over the next 18 months, he’ll be the first comfort dog in Australia to reach the witness box.”
You can find out more about Zero’s journey and training in the Guide Dogs SA/NT Paw Prints Spring 2019 newsletter.
We wish Zero all the best with his new job and extremely im-paw-tant duties!