therapy dogs

Florida Courthouse Therapy Dogs Youtube

If you're travelling through Miami International Airport, you might notice a few new travelers.

It's a typical Saturday afternoon at North Regional Broward College Library. Logan McGuire, 6, picks a book and sits down to read. He has an audience waiting - his new friend Zoe. 

As Logan reads out loud page by page of "The Cookie Fiasco," by Dan Santat and Mo Willems,  Zoe looks curious. She gets closer and, at one point licks Logan's hand. It's a gesture of affection in dogs and she happens to be a Shih Tzu. But Logan, unfazed, keeps on reading until he finishes the entire book. 

LESLIE OVALLE / WLRN

The Florida high school where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting is getting a therapy dog to help students who need emotional support.

Governor Rick Scott has signed a bill into law seeking to make it easier for more abuse victims to testify in court through the use of therapy dogs.

'Therapy’ Dog Bill For Children Goes To Gov. Scott

Apr 7, 2017

A bill is headed to Gov. Rick Scott that would allow the use of "therapy" and "facility" dogs in courts to help provide support for children who testify in cases involving child abuse, abandonment or neglect.

Hillsborough County’s court is going to the dogs - and not just any dog.  

Tibet, a Labrador-golden retriever mix, will be the first facility dog in Florida that helps abused, neglected and abandoned children while they are in the court system, according to The Tampa Tribune.

There are currently 51 such dogs in 21 states. The non-profit Canine Companions for Independence spends two years training the facility dogs.