Hatty, a support dog for young sexual assault victims, has officially joined the Illinois State’s Attorney’s office!
The 2-year old black lab was sworn in a few weeks ago as she placed her right paw on a law book during her swearing-in ceremony. I mean… how cute is this??
Meet Hatty, the newest member of the @cookcountysao! Hatty is a facility dog who will be joining the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Unit and comforting child sexual assault victims as they navigate the criminal justice system.
— State’s Attorney Kim Foxx (@SAKimFoxx) October 29, 2019
State’s Attorney Kim Foxx explained on Twitter that Hattie is available to support child victims of sexual assault, saying:
Coming to this work with compassion and understanding of victims’ experiences helps to ensure the system is fair and just to everyone.
Hatty was trained to help provide comfort and relaxation while victims are in the courthouse or while they are giving their testimony.
Cook County believes Hatty will handle 150 to 200 cases each year. She is the first service dog to join the office.
Inmates trained Hatty for her special job through Duo, a St. Louis-based group specializing in service animals.
Cook County tweeted,
“We are proud to have a resource like Hatty to provide a source of comfort for victims as they navigate this difficult process.”
#ICYMI: "The newest hire at the Cook County State's Attorney's Office is a 2-year-old black Labrador trained by men's prison inmates in southwestern Illinois. The goal is to help sexual assault victims cope with the worst moments of their lives."
— Cook County State's Attorney's Office (@cookcountysao) October 30, 2019
Hatty’s presence could calm frightened children whose testimony regarding their assaults may be crucial to putting dangerous sexual predators behind bars.
Children, who are intimidated by providing testimonies against family members, would especially benefit by having Hatty there to deflect their stress and fear.
Cook County says they’re proud of their new resource. Hatty’s calming presence will be huge help for these scared kids.
Way to go Hatty!