Excerpt: “…. In State v. Dye, the Washington Supreme Court threw prosecutor’s a bone in ruling that use of a facility dog (assigned to the court house to provide comfort to witnesses) was not unduly prejudicial and did not violate the defendant’s right to a fair trial. Washington state has been at the forefront of using canines in court. King County started using them in 2004 and since then, “34 specially trained dogs are at work in 17 states….” [Link to full blog post.]‘
The Oregonian had a story on March 22nd about an Alaskan boy with a miniature horse service animal. Miniature horses as service animals? Well, it turns out the Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee is having a public hearing and possible work session tomorrow (March 28) on SB 610 relating to service animals (including miniature horses). Proposed legislation from last year’s session (HB 4053, died in committee) would have added miniature horses to the definition of assistance animals, and this year’s proposed legislation is similar. This session, SB 610 also modifies the definition of assistance animal to include miniature horses:
“To the extent that reasonable modifications can be made, “assistance animal” also means a miniature horse that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual that directly relate to the disability of the individual.”
In the Department of Justice’s 2010 amendment to implementing title II of the ADA, the definition of service animal only includes dogs (though some states do have broader definitions of service animals). In the Final Rule to Amend the Department of Justice’s Regulation Implementing Title II of the ADA, the DOJ clarifies:
About Courthouse Dogs: Mission: “The mission of Courthouse Dogs Foundation is to promote justice with compassion through the use of professionally trained assistance dogs to provide emotional support to everyone in the justice system.”
“Since 2003 courthouse dogs have provided comfort to sexually abused children while they undergo forensic interviews and testify in court. These dogs also assist treatment court participants in their recovery, visit juveniles in detention facilities, greet jurors and lift the spirits of courthouse staff who often conduct their business in an adversarial setting.
From the Washington County (Oregon) Law Librarian:
Today’s print Oregonian story, The definition of service animals grows to include animals that provide companionship to their owners, by Andy Dworkin (The Oregonian, Tuesday October 28, 2008) reminded me that I hadn’t yet posted this blog-post I’ve been working on.
(Most blog-posts don’t appear out of the blue on a whim; most are the result of, sometimes, a lengthy thinking and writing deliberative process – how dull that sounds. But it’s not!)
In any event, we’ve had a rash (a litter?) of dog-law questions lately (except not too many shaggy dog ones), not just in my county but from around the state. So, let’s try a little educational blogging for those of you who want to research the law: