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Emotional Support Dog

June 26, 2020

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office welcomed a new staff member in 2019: an emotional support dog named Barrett.

Barrett, a golden doodle, joined the attorney’s office in late December. He is still in training, but one year from now, he will start his full-time gig supporting the attorney’s office employees, witnesses and victims.

In a news release, the attorney’s office said the decision to get an emotional support dog was based on scientific research showing the benefits of having a dog working with individuals in a courthouse, courtroom or legal office.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman called Barrett a “welcome and necessary” edition to his office.

“Having an emotional support animal like Barrett in our office will provide much needed stress and anxiety-relief to our staff members, as well as the witnesses and victims we work with during cases,” Freeman said a statement. “Research suggests that having emotional support animals working in courthouses and other legal offices provides comfort and creates a less threatening environment for victims and witnesses.”

A dog trainer with Augusta Dog Training is training Barrett. Barrett currently lives with one the attorney’s office employees.

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