10 States allow for special needs pets to accompany crime victims who are too traumatized to testify. In the AP story I will link here, they cover a case of a 15 year old who had been repeatedly raped for 4 years by a 36 year old. She was unable to even speak about the rapes until she was provided with the company of the dog. The presence of the animal gave her the courage to give details in court and to identify her perp. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110613/ap_on_re_us/us_courtroom_dog_child_witness "It's an unprecedented arrangement in New York and now gaining acceptance elsewhere. Pioneered by a Seattle prosecutor in 2003, courthouse dogs are participating in trials in at least 10 states, often over the objections of defense lawyers who worry that the dogs generate extra sympathy for victims and witnesses." Well it turns out, in NY anyway, that defense attorneys often pet the animals themselves in an attempt to show the jury a softer side when they are cross examining the victims.