Dogged Justice
Dogged Justice
Courthouse Dogs Foundation
Dogged Justice is an educational podcast focused on sharing the positive impact facility dogs make in the criminal justice system. Hosted by Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist Dr Jim Ha and Courthouse Facility Dog Handler Colleen Phelan each episode will share a new aspect of the world wide work of the Courthouse Dogs Foundation. Weekly 30 - 45 minute episodes will bring you insightful interviews from members of the community, to deep dives into cutting edge research, and Jim’s Training Corner. To learn more about what they are doing to change the criminal justice system go to
Breeding & Caring For The Puppies That Become Working Dogs
How many loads of laundry does it take to raise a puppy? Who takes care of the pregnant dogs? How are the dogs paired for breeding? Colleen & Jim are joined by Breeder Caretaker Wendy Clock Johnson from Canine Companions for Independence to answer all our puppy breeding and raising questions. They also discuss why this process is so important for successful working dogs.    Episode Highlights  1:00 - Meet Wendy Clock Johnson the Breeder Caretaker for Canine Companions For Independence  3:30 - How Wendy becoming a breeder caretaker  5:30 - The process for breeding and and length of service 7:30 - What happens if a breeder caretaker needs help  9:30 - The challenges of socializing dogs right now 12:15 - All the loads of laundry to do! 14:45 - From pregnancy, to whelping boxes  19:30 - Maximum puppy cuteness, Jim shares the science 23:15 - Pairing the dogs for breeding 26:30 - Seeing characteristics passed from parent to puppy 27:45 - Recognizing the skills generationally  30:15 - Wendy shares a few examples she’s seen  31:30 - Why purposeful breeding is useful 34:00 - Mission critical tasks we rely on dogs for 36:30 - History, hit rate, and choosing the environments 39:00 - Milestones the breeder caretaker manages  40:30 - An unexpected conditioning moment  42:45 - When puppies are ready to go to the puppy raiser 44:30 - Delivering the puppies to the raiser & when they return  48:00 - Wendy’s experiences working in these programs 49:00 - The types of working dogs that Canine Companions for Independence raises 52:10 - Identifying the characteristics to put the dog in the right working environment 54:30 - Collen reflects on the observed actions dogs pick up 56:00 - Frannie’s personality that Jim enjoys 58:00 - Blake asks for dessert 59:30 - Sabina & Mara at home with Wendy 1:02:30 - The social media puppy raisers have created  1:04:00 - When public has been surprised by these dogs 1:06:00 - The moments that make this work great 1:10:00 - Where dogs go to when they are not able to be placed as working dogs 1:13:00 - A special community built around raising these dogs 1:14:30 - What happens when Sabina & Mara retire 1:17:00 - Roles of the dogs after they are retired  Links To References Canine Companions for Independence  Assistance Dogs Of The West - Facebook  PADS - Pacific Assistance Dogs Society
Oct 13
1 hr 20 min
Minimizing Separation Anxiety & What’s Next On The Podcast
Colleen and Jim reflect on what has happened on the podcast so far and share how it’s already benefiting the community. They also share what you can expect on upcoming episodes. Jim also shares his best tips for minimizing separation anxiety when you leave your dog home. Join us next month for the November Virtual Race & Walk for Gratitude to raise funds to support this program.   Episode Highlights  1:10 - Jim provides a personal update  3:30 - Support from the community during recovery 4:30 - Upcoming topics we’ll be exploring 5:45 - Selecting from the right genetics for the best start 7:20 - The experiences through training the dogs 9:00 - Features you recognize  10:30 - Similarities within breeding  12:30 - Exploring the assistance dog schools 13:30 - Recapping what we’ve discussed so far 15:00 - Colleen shares the 2 things she’s observed so far 17:35 - The impact this podcast has made so far 19:15 - The motivation Jim has experienced 21:00 - Connecting during this time apart 24:00 - November Virtual Race & Walk  26:00 - Separation anxiety for our dogs 31:00 - Keeping in mind your dogs age  32:30 - Puppies may be very confused when this is done
Oct 6
37 min
Advocating & Teaming Up In Alabama (Part 2)
Continuing last week's episode the Alabama network shares a wide range of experiences with the facility dogs they work with. Colleen also learns more about each of the facility dogs similar personality traits. We wrap up this 2 part series talking about the value of these networks in the community. Colleen provides next steps if you want to see a program like this in your community.  Tamara Martin (pictured) has facility dog Willow.  Tamara works the Office of Prosecution Services in Montgomery, AL.  Tamara is Grant Administrator and facility dog handler. Ann Leith (primary handler and full-time handler) and Jana Thomas (secondary handler) have facility dog, Wilson.  They work at the National Children's Advocacy Center in Huntsville, AL Patricia Falcon has facility dog Kuzco. she is the ED of the James M. Barrie Center for Children (CAC) in Gadsden, AL Tonya Willingham has facility dog Fitzgerald (Fitz). Tonya is a former prosecutor in the Shelby County, AL District Attorney's office who switched from prosecuting child cases to being a full-time dog handler.   Episode Highlights  1:30 - Observing Willow’s personality  2:45 - Tamera is still surprised letting Willow work  4:30 - How he dogs know who to serve & compliment the advocates 5:45 - Nervous moments that make a trial manageable 7:50 - Tamera’s future plans for a successor dog 9:45 - The planning that goes into managing a facility dogs life 13:00 - Ann & Wilson impact a child in therapy with Autism 15:15 - Jana observes Wilson creating comfort for a 10 year old girl 18:15 - The types of therapy that Wilson is included in  19:30 - Outcomes advocates hope for when partnering with facility dogs 22:45 - Ann  & Jana describe Wilson’s slow demeanor  25:30 - Facility dogs consistent energy  27:00 - When the dogs are at training & are able to play 28:15 - Tonya shares how Fitz personality is inline with the rest of the facility dogs 29:45 - Fiz comforts two children during a challenging physical exam 32:30 - Colleen sees Blake working even when he’s off duty 33:40 - Staff in the facility see Fitz playing  36:00 - Patricia shares Kuzco’s personality 38:00 - Commands Kuzco is working on  40:30 - Kuzco’s time with the family translates to the office 43:00 - The extended relationships at home with the facility dogs 45:00 - Seeing the excitement as the community is educated  48:15 - Tamera shared the benefits of their unique network in Alabama  50:30 - How the network has impacted other communities 
Sep 20
54 min
Advocating & Teaming Up In Alabama (Part 1)
Colleen kicks off this two part episode with 4 members of the Alabama facility dog community. Ann, Jana, Patricia,Tamera and Tonya share how they came together to launch their statewide efforts to benefit the communities they serve. This episode discusses how both the National Children's Advocacy Center and the H.E.R.O. Program were founded, and who they serve.   Tamara Martin (pictured) has facility dog Willow.  Tamara works the Office of Prosecution Services in Montgomery, AL.  Tamara is Grant Administrator and facility dog handler.  Ann Leith (primary handler and full-time handler) and Jana Thomas (secondary handler) have facility dog, Wilson.  They work at the National Children's Advocacy Center in Huntsville, AL Patricia Falcon has facility dog Kuzco. she is the ED of the James M. Barrie Center for Children (CAC) in Gadsden, AL Tonya Willingham has facility dog Fitzgerald (Fitz). Tonya is a former prosecutor in the Shelby County, AL District Attorney's office who switched from prosecuting child cases to being a full-time dog handler.     Episode Highlights  2:05 - Meet Patricia Falcon the Executive Director for the James Berry Center for Children in Gadsden Alabama and handler of Kuzco  5:00 - National Children’s Advocacy Center Ann Leith handler shares Wilson’s role at her facility  7:45 - Jana Thomas Family Advocate explains the team approach to managing Wilson  10:45 - Tonya Willingham transitioned from a District Attorney to handler of facility dog Fitzgerald working out of the Shelby County Courthouse 13:00 - Tamara Martin of the H.E.R.O.’s program - Helping. Empowering. Restoring. Overcoming.  15:10 - Victims Of Crime Act’s role in this program  16:00 - Providing ongoing training for the 10 facility dogs and handlers in the program 18:30 - How Tamera brought the H.E.R.O.’s program grew  20:35 - The resources with in the National Children's Advocacy Center  22:05 - Creating a central location to provide services to support victims  25:30 - Working as a team to support the facility dogs  28:30 - Colleen & Jana reflect on the role of secondary handler 30:00 - Wilson makes a difference for 2 children  32:00 - More facilities in Alabama finding the program 35:45 - Long term impact in the community 38:00 - Teaching children about how the dogs that have helped them live their life.  39:15 - Ensuring the facility dog receives the breaks they need while working 41:00 - Tonya identifies and fills the need for a facility dog in her area 45:45 - Colleen shares what you can expect in part 2 of this episode.   Links To References H.E.R.O. Program National Children's Advocacy Center
Sep 13
47 min
Facility Dogs Building Confidence Down Under
Colleen and Jim learn the unique ways that their peers in Australia have used facility dogs to build confidence throughout the justice system. Jane Kefford Client Services Manager for Assistance Dogs Of Australia and Julie Morrison victim engagement coordinator for the Victoria Office Of Public Prosecutions and handler of Lucy / Suzy join us this week.    Episode Highlights  1:00 - Bringing the first accredited facility dog to Australia 4:45 - Coming to the states to learn from the Courthouse Dogs Foundation 6:15 -  Jane Kefford breaks down the structure of Assistance Dogs of Australia 7:30 - Pups in prison program  11:00 - Transitioning the facility dogs from the handlers to the recipients 12:45 - Prisoners support of the program after release 14:45 - The confidence that this program brings 16:30 - Opportunities inside these programs for the prisoners and facility dogs 18:30 - A last minute change brings Julie and Lucy Suzy together 21:15 - The first time taking the liesh, Julie, Colleen & Jim recall that moment 25:30 - Settling into the process with the newly placed facility dogs 27:15 - Jim shares Frannie’s first flight 28:30 - Suzy Lucy the chocolate labrador’s personality & work 32:00 - How Australia’s justice system functions 34:45 - Lucy Suzy working in the courtroom 36:15 - Navigating the courtroom 39:00 - Allowing people to see the work.  41:30 - The specialized training Assistance Dogs of Australia  44:00 - How the community contributes to raising the facility dogs 46:00 - The socializing that lets them be ready for any scenario 49:30 - Resetting expectations around how the facility dogs are working vs off the vest 51:00 - Saying hello to manage a room 52:00 - Where the name Suzy Lucy came from  54:45 - Overwhelming need for more facility dogs  58:15 - Examples of Suzy Lucy impacting children in the justice system 1:00:30 - A wristband highlights the help being provided 1:03:00 - Victim impact statements validates the service Suzy Lucy is providing  1:05:00 - Connecting the handlers using this platform  1:06:45 - Finding better solutions for handlers  Links To References Assistance Dogs Australia -
Aug 30
1 hr 11 min
Court Decisions That Support This Work With Ellen O’Neill-Stephens
This episode covers detailed and graphic topics related to the sexual abuse cases that facility dogs have been involved with. Ellen O’Neill Stephens provides a deep dive into the groundbreaking case that David Crenshaw and Rosie discussed on our last episode. We also talk about the appellate court process, and other cases that have impacted the use of facility dogs throughout the United States.    Episode Highlights  1:30 - This episode covers detailed and graphic topics related to the sexual abuse cases that facility dogs have been involved with.  2:30 - Ellen & Celeste become aware of David Crenshaw’s work  4:45 - Circumstances of the first child David & Rosie worked with 6:30 - Touring the courthouse through the eyes of Rosie 7:30 - The trial process for the victim & guilty verdict  8:40 - National news coverage of Courthouse Dogs  10:45 - What an appellate court decision is and how it impacts facility dogs 15:40 - New York courts appellate decision in David & Rosie’s case  17:00 - Recognizing that a dog being present is not prejudicial if a child talking about sexual assault is not disturbing 19:05 - This victims case sets precedent for many cases  20:10 - Ellen shares her experience before the Supreme Court  21:45 - Colleen shares how she feels when Arizona cases have included Russel & Blake 23:10 - Jim asks Ellen how David & Rosie’s case impacts other states' cases.  26:45 - Adult accommodations with differing results in Michigan and Georgia  29:00 - The facility dogs can do a lot, the victim testifying has the ability to choose 31:00 - How David continues to support Courthouse Dogs Foundation 32:00 - Colleen and other advocates use this information to do their jobs better 34:00 - How to get involved in bringing a facility dog to your courthouse Links To References Courthouse Dogs Appellate Case Law Decision
Aug 16
36 min
A Facility Dogs Problem Solving Skills With Dr David Crenshaw
Dr David Crenshaw of the Children’s Home Of Poughkeepsie joins Colleen & Dr Jim for a lively discussion about the various ways his organization uses facility dogs. He shares how their facility dogs have used their problem solving skills to support, comfort, and a good laugh. Also, Jim provides a lot of insight into why problem solving is so important for the dogs chosen to serve.    Episode Highlights  1:37 - David shares how Dr Jim’s work has impacted his efforts 2:15 - Meet Dr David Crenshaw of the Children's Home Of Poughkeepsie  4:40 - The specialized programs they offer 5:30 - Nuevas Alas serving immigrant children 6:45 - Safe Harbour program for youth sex trafficking victims 7:45 - Group Emergency Foster Care for siblings 9:00 - Navigating the campus of services 10:00 - David finds Courthouse Dogs Foundation 14:00 - Rosie from ECAD works with 2 children 17:00 - David’s observations of Rosie’s impact 20:15 - Jim reflects on the past 10 years of  adoption of facility dog programs 24:20 - The importance of problem solving skills in these dogs 28:10 - The current projects Jim is working on the science of play 30:00 - Rosie is reunited with Dale but continues to show up 31:00 - An example of the work Rosie did in court 34:15 - The transition of facility dogs 37:30 - Gentle soft touch to the dogs provides healing to the children 38:45 - Benefiting from establishing boundaries 41:00 - Teens working with Ace the labrador 44:30 - Our connection to the animals  45:30 - Calming comfort through all areas of life 48:00 - Letter exchange with Ace 50:50 - Elvis the approachable one  51:45 - Marshall working with the Safe Harbour program 53:15 - Facility dogs supporting all of those in this process 54:30 - Intuitive problem solving the dogs inherently have 55:00 - Hilarious problem solving example 58:00 - Knowing where the facility dogs will serve best  1:01:30 - What a bark or howl is telling a handler 1:02:30 - Colleen shares how Russel was impacted by pain of a person 1:04:45 -  Rosie goes to college & Jim tells us how dogs sense their stress Links To References Children’s Home Of Poughkeepsie  ECAD - Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities This episode is marked explicit due to the nature of some of the topics discussed. 
Aug 9
1 hr 8 min
Positive Reinforcement in Chile with Cecilia Marré
With ever changing environments at dispersed facilities Chile’s facility dogs face a unique set of challenges. Cecilia Marré Director of Bocalan Confair in Santiago, Chile’s programs join Jim & Colleen in this week's episode to highlight the way they’ve adapted the program to fit their community. Using a facility dogs natural instincts & positive reinforcement training she discusses the way they’ve made adjustments to their program to accommodate those they serve.     Episode Highlights  1:11 - Meet Cecilia Marré director of Boclan Confair in Santiago, Chile  2:15 - Cecilia invites Courthouse Dogs Foundation to Chile 3:45 - Chile’s dispersed criminal justice system 6:00 - Adopting forensic interviews  7:40 - The environments facility dogs & handlers navigate in Chile 11:05 - Jim explains what traits are sought after in these working dogs 14:15 - Paseta the labrador the first facility dog in Chile 18:45 - Trusting the facility dog to guide interactions 21:30 - Using facility and support dogs through the criminal justice process 24:00 - Sitting on the sidelines as a handler while court is taking place 25:30 - When the facility dogs are brought in for bonding sessions  31:00 - The combination of animal assisted intervention & support  35:15 - How Courthouse Dogs Foundation helped Cecilia integrate the program 37:45 - The importance of the facility dog’s support team  40:30 - Inhibition in the dogs  42:15 - Being able to laugh at the fun moments as well 45:00 - Professional training is creating success in the programs 46:00 - Building a relationship with the facility dog during training 50:00 - Using independence helps build trust & community  53:20 - The problem solving that comes with a facility dog 56:00 - Handlers role as a guide vs controlling the situations 1:02:30 - The process of breeding and raising facility dogs in Chile 1:05:00 - Programs offered by Boclan Confair 1:08:00 - How the dogs interact with each other when they are at home 1:13:00 - Exposing the handlers to other animals    Links To References Assistance Dogs Of North America Bocalan Confair 
Aug 2
1 hr 16 min
Retiring A Facility Dog with Kim Gramlich
Have you wondered what happens when a facility dog retires? Kim Gramlich of the Delta Police Victim Services in Delta British Columbia joins us to discuss the retirement of facility dog Caber. She also shares what it’s like bringing a new facility dog into the mix. As the first handler in Canada Kim is a wealth of knowledge on best practices getting started and managing a successful facility dog program.   Episode Highlights  0:45 - Meet Kim Gramlich with the Delta Police Services in Delta British Columbia 3:38 - The NOVA conference leads to the discovery of facility dogs  5:30 - Creation of a facility program in Canada  6:30 - Kim meets her facility dog Caber in 2010  8:05 - Signs a facility dog is close to retirement 10:50 - Changes in Caber that Kim observed 12:00 - Jim shares health issues that could impact the facility dog as well 14:30 - Colleen & Jim reflect on changes they’ve noticed as their dogs have aged 16:45 - Finding an internal champion to support the program 18:30 - Winston Sason helps proactively address concerns  21:00 - Educating those that are still not familiar with the facility dogs in court 22:15 - How Canada’s testimonial accommodation supports those testifying during legislation 27:15 - The handlers role during testimonial accommodation 28:00 - Acclimating the dog to different standards internationally 30:30 - Caber & Puma’s personality differences  33:40 - Colleen’s experiences with Russell & Blake  36:15 - Reminding and reinforcing commands with Frannie 39:00 - The ways our learned behavior is managed 40:00 - How COVID  is impacting the training facility dogs have 41:50 - Kims experience retiring Caber and introducing Puma to work  47:00 - Colleen & Kim’s emotional connection to their facility dogs 53:15 - Creating the best situation for the dog and handlers 56:00 - Highly trained professionals equipped to navigate the graphic aspects of the criminal justice system 59:10 - Support handlers receive while doing this work 1:01:30 - The resilience of the facility dogs vs your pet at home 1:03:00 - Studying the mental health of both the handlers and facility dogs  1:04:45 - Facility dogs help those within an organization manage daily stress 1:06:30 - How these programs benefit all first responders   1:07:50 - Cabers most impactful moment as a facility dog    Links To References National Association For Victims Assistance  Pacific Assistance Dogs Foundation  Justice Facility Dogs Canada
Jul 26
1 hr 13 min
Managing Life, Schedules & Focus With Sergeant Tia Froh
Our first international guest from Saskatchewan, Canada. Sergeant Tia Froh and Merlot serve in the Regina Police Service. She shares how she manages her life, and schedules with her facility dog while working as a police officer. Tia also shares with us what it’s like to live in Merlot’s world. You can follow along with Merlot on Instagram at padsk9merlot. Episode Highlights  1:00 - Meet Sgt Tia Froh & Merlot of the Regina Police Service in Saskatchewan Canada 2:30 - Many facility dogs serve throughout the justice process.  3:20 - The “Point of First Contact Principal” 4:30 - Greeting those coming to the facility 5:30 - The facility that Tia and Merlot work in 8:00 - What the Canadian justice and legal system looks like 10:10 - Additional team members in the community 11:00 - How facility dogs get involved in the justice system 14:10 - Building confidence  15:30 - Merlot the Accredited Justice Facility Dog 19:15 - Understanding working vs not working time for the facility dog 22:30 - Jim explains the mental strength facility dogs need to have 25:40 - Facility dogs behavioral changes during down time 31:20 - Managing Merlot’s schedule  35:40 - Supporting officers in critical mission debriefs  37:35 - Canada’s criminal code support person explained 39:300 - Support person roles in cases in Canada and the United States 44:0 - How the facility dogs know who to serve  47:30 - The role of a handler to help prioritize the facility dogs attention 50:45 - Tia’s journey to becoming a handler  56:00 - Adjustments to work and personal life after becoming a handler 1:00:30 - Recognizing the facility dogs help the handlers as well 1:04:45 - Settling into the environment as time goes on 1:06:30 - Covid scheduling changes 1:08:30 - Highlighting Merlot’s work on Social Media 1:10:00 - Educating & building community engagement with police officers  Links To References Merlo’s Instagram 
Jul 19
1 hr 16 min
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