CHICAGO, Ill. – There’s a new addition to the nation’s second largest prosecutor’s office and she happens to stand on four legs.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office swore in its newest member this week, a “facility dog” name Hatty.
While Hatty may not boast a law degree like others in the Chicago-based office, the black Labrador Retriever comes with her own set of skills. The pup will work with the office’s Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Unit to comfort child sexual assault victims as they navigate the criminal justice system.
Hatty was trained by inmates at a men’s prison in southwestern Illinois, WLS reports . She was trained to help provide comfort and relaxation while victims are in the courthouse or while they are giving their testimony, according to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.
“A trauma-informed and victim-centered model is one of the many ways our office works to better serve victims and witnesses,” Foxx wrote on Twitter.
Foxx says she was sexually abused as a child herself and carried that trauma around with her for years. She hopes Hatty will be a calming and stable force for child victims.
“I know personally that retelling a story of assault or abuse can cause trauma all over again,” said Foxx. “I’m so glad Hatty is here to provide comfort and help reduce further trauma for children and mentally-disabled victims.”
Hatty is named after the hat-trick in hockey, a sport popular amongst the students who chose her name.