Rachael the dog helps victims of abuse at the GJ Center for Children

Local News

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Meet Rachael, the newest member of the Grand Junction Center for Children, and her handler, Ashley.

These two have been paired in order to help abused kids feel more at ease when testifying in court or having a forensic interview.

Dogs like these take years to train, and go through a few handlers before making a final stop.

“Rachael has had two years of advanced training,” Ashley said. “Starting in a prison setting in San Diego. Her first trainer was an inmate who trained her for over 18 months.”

These dogs are bred for specific traits, such as calm nature and aversion to predatory instinct.

Because of this, they are able to sit for long periods of time, which is perfect for a courtroom setting.
“It’s really proven that children who are with a facility dog like that are more verbal and are able to explain what happened to them better,” Dan Rubinstein, the District Attorney said. “That increases our chance for healing for the children and also the chance of conviction.”

“And, it’s because dogs like Rachael here, that kids can have the confidence to testify in court in a more calm and efficient manner.”

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