COURTHOUSE PET THERAPY PROGRAM

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FOURTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT-DUVAL COUNTY

                                                                                                                     

            Victims, witnesses, and parties involved in every type of court case are sometimes required to wait for an extended period of time before they appear and/or testify in court or deposition. Both the waiting and the testifying may produce high levels of anxiety for some, particularly for children and other people involved in highly emotional cases. Studies show that the interaction with friendly animals provides both emotional and physical benefits. Pet therapy teams are available to interact with the parties, victims, and witnesses while they wait to appear; and when appropriate, while they testify. The goals are to lessen anxiety for those at the courthouse and to help them provide more accurate testimony. The pets in this program are a variety of breeds of dogs and all the teams are volunteers.

              Visitors at the Courthouse may see a pet therapy team in the hallways or in certain courtrooms as the schedule shows below.

               If you are interested in our pet therapy program or are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Judge Senterfitt at (904)255-1270.