Politicians, judges and victim advocates convened last Friday with five four-legged specialists and their handlers at South Texas College of Law Houston to announce a measure that would allow trained dogs to be in federal courtrooms to support witnesses.
The Dogs as Witness Guardians Act — or DAWG — would give federal judges the authority to permit certified dogs to be inside courtrooms during hearings.
The specially skilled dogs included ENYA II, TEXAS CASA’s FIRST Court House Facility Dog for CASA of Titus, Camp and Morris Counties and her handler, Michelle Cobern, Executive Director of CASA.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas offered enthusiastic support for the legislation along with the law school’s president and dean, Donald J. Guter. Also on hand to back the bill were officials from the Harris County Children’s Assessment Center, Service Dogs Inc., Harris County District Judge Barbara J. Stalder of the 280th Family and Domestic Violence Court and Michael Schneider, former judge in the 315th Juvenile Court and founder of GIRL Court.