Wed., 9:48am: Dogs help calm witnesses in Ohio courtroom

MARION – Specially trained service dogs are helping calm anxious witnesses who take the stand in one central Ohio courtroom.

The two pooches – 6-year-old Molly B and 2-year-old Camry – are trained to lie still on the ground in the witness box to provide a more comforting environment for people testifying in family court in Marion County, north of Columbus.

Ellen O’Neill-Stephens, founder of Courthouse Dogs Foundation, tells The Marion Star that the courtroom is one of the first in the nation to have a facility dog.

O’Neill-Stephens says testifying in court is a stressful experience, and scientific research shows that dogs can reduce stress in humans.

Camry, a golden retriever/Labrador mix, also will work with juveniles in the county court system.