Governor Doug Ducey Signs Legislation Protecting Child Victims With Therapy Dogs

News Release

May 11, 2016

PHOENIX – Governor Doug Ducey has signed legislation protecting child victims who use therapy dogs. The bill requires courts to allow victims under 18 years of age to have a therapy dog accompany them when testifying in court. HB 2375 also permits the court to allow a victim over the age of 18 to be accompanied by a therapy dog.

Statement from Governor Ducey:

Our heart goes to children who have been victims of crimes, and we need to be doing everything possible as a state to protect them and provide them the support they need as they face the hurdles of the criminal justice system,” said Governor Ducey. "Therapy dogs have a proven positive impact on comforting both children and adults under intimidating and stressful circumstances. I’m proud to sign this bill – and I want to thank the sponsor Rep. Eddie Farnsworth and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery for their leadership and dedication to protecting Arizona victims.”

Statement from Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery:

“Our office has utilized a therapy dog program for more than five years running – and we’ve seen firsthand the impact it’s had on hundreds of people throughout Maricopa County. Our canines have worked with victims in the most traumatic situations, and I can attest to the fact that having a therapy dog by their side truly helps these individuals find comfort and gain courage to testify before a court. I’m excited that the success we’ve had in Maricopa County will now expand to benefit victims statewide.”