Sometimes we need someone to simply be there for us. Facility Support Dog Marielle has proven this to be true. The court room can be a very scary place, especially for a child. Thankfully, Marielle is there to lend a paw. She provides love and support to children who have been through traumatic experiences explains handler Kristal Leblanc.
It can be very isolating in the witness box. Family members or safe supporters are seated far back in the gallery. It can be intimidating to have to tell a room full of adults details of what has happened, especially in sexual assault cases.
Since graduating from the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides, Marielle has worked on more than 75 trials. She is the first and only accredited facility support dog to be used in a New Brunswick courtroom. Her impact has been immeasurable.
I don’t know what we would do without her. There are things as professionals we can’t offer. We can’t go into the witness box and provide comfort and compassion. She just gives something that no other human could ever give.