Kay County Courthouse gets service dog

Ponca City Now - February 24, 2014 6:13 am

There are all kinds of service dogs and the Kay County Courthouse got one to serve its needs.

The courthouse dog doesn’t sniff out drugs like police dogs or open doors like a dog for the handicapped.

Tulah, the Kay County Courthouse dog comforts people who are going into court.

Brian Hermanson, District Attorney said she has received extensive training, just like all service dogs.

“She is trained not to bark, not to jump on people, not to do anything that would be distractive to the jury or to the judge" Hermanson said. "What she will do for the most part is let kids pet her and love her, and she’ll love back. She is designed not to be the focus of attention, she is designed to be exactly the opposite.”

Tulah started her duties at the courthouse a week ago and is only the second courthouse dog in Oklahoma.

She is a two-year-old Golden Retriever, Labrador mix.

Tulah is worth $50,000, but she was donated to the courthouse as a public service.

Tulah works and lives with the victims advocate.

Hermanson said she will be a good resource for children.

“When I first thought of it, I thought of it for children that were victims of crime, children of molestation or rape, where they’re getting ready to face their accuser in court," Hermanson said. "They may be sitting around for several hours waiting for the trial to start or to testify. It will give them something to take their mind off what’s about to happen. Plus,Tulah is also trained so she can go into the courtroom with the victim. Actually curl up into the well of the witness area. So, sitting right there with the victim while they are testifying, so they can feel like they have some protection and comfort there.”

Hermanson said he plans on her working at the courthouse for more than 10 years.

She also has been making rounds to courthouse employees to relieve everyday stresses.


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