tRemi, the Courthouse Facility Dog has received extensive two-year training from Canine Companions for IndependenceⓇ, an assistance dog organization that is a member of Assistance Dogs International. These dogs are specially selected for this placement because of their ability to calmly interact with people from all walks of life in a high stress environment.
In order to serve as dog handler, Naomi Strawhorn (Victim Services Coordinator) participated in intensive team training at Canine Companions®, involving daily training sessions, classroom lectures, field trips, and daily assessments. Prior to graduation, Remi & Naomi were required to pass the ADI practical exam in a public setting as well as a written exam. The pair work as a team in providing services to child victims. Off hours, Remi goes home with Naomi and is a normal pet.
Remi goes to work daily at CASA of Hancock County and is cared for by her handler. Remi’s priority is attending Youth Court with child victims. Her services are provided at the request of the child. Remi is available to accompany children to forensic interviews to enhance the fact-finding process. Remi supports child welfare system staff to decrease secondary trauma & prevent burnout.
The Courthouse Facility Dog Team is supported by The Gulf Coast Community Foundation through the Jack A. & Gertrude W. Wilson Animal Welfare Fund, The Rotary Club of Bay St. Louis, and Mississippi Power. Remi’s medical care is generously donated by Dr. West of Pet Haven Veterinary Hospital.