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Eaton County Prosecutor using a four-legged friend to comfort crime victims and witnesses

Strider is a lab/golden retreiever mix who is taking over role as court's comfort dog
Posted at 10:38 AM, Apr 28, 2022

CHARLOTTE, Mich. — Coming to a courtroom often means a day filled with stress and other negative emotions, but just inside the Eaton County Courthouse, the prosecutor is using a four-legged friend to make visits more comfortable.

The Eaton County Prosecutor’s office has just welcomed a new team member. He is just 18 months old and flunked out of leader school but Strider is being asked to take on some major responsibilities.

The golden retriever/ lab mix will meet crime victims and witnesses to help ease their stress. He’s the second dog to take on this role.

“The dogs start out as leader dogs for the blind that’s what their training is. Somewhere along the line they transition and go to a canine advocacy program. These are specialized dogs that lots of money has been put into. When they transition out of leader school, we have the opportunity as prosecutors and [children's advocacy centers] to obtain them," said Eaton County Prosecutor, Doug Lloyd.

Reagan was the first victim advocacy dog but Lloyd says he’s been working since 2013 and needs to slow down.

Strider is 18 months old and has all the energy of a young pup, which his handlers hope will make him a hit with kids who need comfort.

“I’ve been introducing him to all sorts of victims, our adults victims and children victims just to get him practice. It's amazing what he does. He will pick up on anxiety or if someone is stressed out he will go right to them," said victim and witness advocate Marissa Shook.

Strider is still learning the lay of the land but Shook says he’s adapting quickly.

He was introduced to the County Commission last week.

If you’d like to learn more about Strider, we have a link to his Facebook page here: Canine Advocacy Program

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Travis Hicks

3:45 PM, May 23, 2022

Charlotte & Eaton Rapids

Neighborhood Reporter

Travis Hicks

FOX 47 News Neighborhood Newsletter