The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office has a four-legged, cuddly team member working in the Victim Witness Unit. Kiley, the service dog, joined our team in February of 2012. Kiley and her handler, VWU Supervisor Michelle Walker, provide services to victims and witnesses of violent crimes.
Entering a courthouse can be a frightening experience, especially for children. When words are not enough, Kiley is available to provide a calming and reassuring presence to victims and witnesses, and thereby assists in the truth-seeking process.
The specialized training Kiley has received includes behavioral situations, mock court trials, calming young, adult and elderly victims, learning to work with multiple clients and remaining calm and focused when working with otherwise distracting noises. In addition to attending court proceedings, Kiley also attends interviews and meetings with her handler, and she comforts witnesses and victims as they prepare testimony and give depositions.
Kiley goes to the office each day with her two-legged coworkers. When her services are not needed, you can find her roaming the office halls saying, “Hello,” or sneaking in a nap.
Training & Care
Walker, Kiley’s handler, has assumed financial and custodial responsibility for Kiley, a Yellow Labrador who was bred, raised and trained by Canine Companions for Independence (CCI.) The non-profit organization provides assistance dogs for children and adults with disabilities and for use in facilities.
Kiley completed nine months of professional training. After an intensive, two-week training with Kiley at CCI, Walker and Kiley received Public Access Certification by Assistance Dogs International.