Meet Karl! He’s a boxer, a therapy dog, 5-years young, and deaf. Karl’s specialty is as a courtroom dog, helping children to testify in the Ninth Judicial Court of Florida as part of the K9th Circuit Program. Testifying on the stand can be a scary experience for anyone, and Karl is devoted to making children feel safe during this difficult time.
He goes right up to the stand with the kids, sitting by their side, and allowing them to pet him while they speak. In fact, he’s happy to hang around as long as it takes, providing comfort before, after, and during their time in court. Some children have difficulties after testifying, so having a visit from Karl has a real impact on their lives outside of the courtroom.
There are some other organizations with similar dog therapy focused on courtroom comfort, but Karl’s experience as a deaf dog means that he’s particularly calm and focused in a space where there are startling noises like gavels and objections.
Karl is part of the Companions for Courage therapy dog organization, which boasts a varied group of dogs with different areas of therapeutic expertise. When he isn’t busy keeping children calm and supported in the courtroom, Karl enjoys walks with lots of flowers to sniff and birds to watch.