It's name is Lol and it has just started as legal assistant in the French town of Cahors, which makes it the first dog in France to help in the difficult task of helping children to testify in trials. The training of this farmer has lasted two years and has been carried out in Handi'chiens, an animal education association to assist people.
"The integration of a dog trained specifically for this in the judicial process will allow the beneficiaries to declare as little stress as possible, told by" Frederic Almendros, one of the Cahors prosecutors and head of training at Lol. As indicated, the company of the dog decreases the blood pressure of the child and also their heart rate and increases the levels of oxytocin, also known as the hormone of attachment.
The use of this type of animal for this purpose is very widespread in the US and Canada. Their presence has served to relieve the stress of the victims and reassure them at the moment of testifying before the investigators or before the Court, especially in children who have suffered sexual aggression. However, in Europe the assistance of a dog in a judicial process does not stop being still unusual. At the moment, it is a pilot experience that will last six months and, depending on the result, its continuity will be decided.
One in five European minors suffers some form of sexual violence, according to the Council of Europe. In 80% of the cases, they are abuses committed in their close and family environment by people integrated in their lives and in those they trust, which makes reporting difficult and, even more so, for children to declare against their aggressors.
Lol is already at the local Fire and Rescue Center. Marie-Claude Lebret, founder of the association Handi'chiens, says that it is an animal capable of calming just by looking. "It is not afraid of noise, it cries and remains serene, which allows, for example, children who have suffered violence gain confidence. The dog has also been educated to snuggle up the child in times of stress. "