(CBS DETROIT) - The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office on Monday introduced its newest member to the team.
Jellybean, a half-black Labrador and half-golden retriever, is a service dog in the Victims' Advocates Unit, where she helps children, adults, and witnesses when they participate in court cases, according to a press release.
The prosecutor's office says Jellybean has not yet been involved in a trial, but she has been involved in pretrial interviews with child victims, adult victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, and has been requested for witnesses of homicides.
"The effect Jellybean has on nervous or vulnerable victims really needs to be seen to be believed. She has a calming effect on nervous children and adults who must come to court to discuss difficult facts," said child advocate Jamie Buchholtz in a statement.
The puppy came from the Leader Dogs for the Blind in Rochester, the prosecutor's office says. She was reassigned to the Canine Advocacy Program (CAP) that manages CARE House of Oakland County.
In February 2023, she was adopted by Mark Hindelang, the chief of information and technology at the prosecutor's office. Officials say Jellybean works alongside Buchholtz, meeting with victims and walking them to court.
After she was assigned to the prosecutor's office, Dan Cojanu, who was head of the CAP program, met with Hindelang and Buchholtz about making Jellybean a canine advocate, the prosecutor's office said in a press release. This required the puppy to go through a six-week training, which she passed in April.
"I have wanted to have a canine advocate for years, but several things must come together for this to happen. I am so pleased that Mark and Jamie have shown such commitment and dedication to provide our crime victims with an exceptional new advocate," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement. Jellybean's contribution has already been invaluable. She is helping to soothe children and adults who are faced with a difficult and unusual situation. We look forward to her service for years to come."
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