By Holly Lebowitz Rossi

A recent New York court case in which a 15-year-old girl accused her father of raping and impregnating her has opened a wider debate on the role of service dogs in courtrooms.  Rosie, a golden retriever therapy dog trained to comfort people under stress, sat at the girl's feet as she testified, providing her with warmth and nuzzles during the most upsetting moments of the testimony.

Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana and some other states have also allowed comfort dogs to accompany children to the witness stand.  The ruling in this appeal will likely impact the use of courtroom dogs in the future.

(image via: http://www.nytimes.com)

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