CHICAGO — A 2-year-old dog named Hatty will soon be wagging her tail at the Cook County Courthouse.
Hatty, a Labrador retriever, was sworn in Tuesday and will serve as a support dog to children and people with mental disabilities who have been the victims of sexual violence.
Survivors will be able to use Hatty when testifying and when being interviewed by prosecutors and other officials, according to a news release from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
“Navigating the criminal justice system can be confusing and scary, especially for young people and other victims of sexual assault,” said State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in a news release. “We’re excited to welcome Hatty to our team where she will provide comfort and peace to victims during one of the most difficult times in their lives.”
Hatty will have a 45-day training period and then will be available for victims. She’ll be cared for and housed by two office employees who have received special training.
Hatty will be used in an estimated 150-200 cases per year and will likely appear in court twice a month, according to the State’s Attorney’s Office.
The State’s Attorney’s Office used a fundraiser to pay for Hatty’s food, equipment and comfort materials, according to the agency.