Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Substitute Bill No. 6999

    January Session, 2017

 

*_____HB06999KID___030317____*

AN ACT CONCERNING THE USE OF THERAPY DOGS TO COMFORT CHILDREN TESTIFYING IN CERTAIN CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2017) (a) The Judicial Branch shall maintain on its Internet web site a section providing information regarding the availability of an accommodation, granted at the court's discretion, for the presence of a dog to provide comfort and support for a child under the age of eighteen during such child's testimony in the criminal prosecution of an offense involving the alleged assault, abuse or sexual abuse of such child. Said web site shall also provide contact information for organizations that provide, free of charge, the use of a dog trained to comfort individuals who have experienced mental, physical or emotional trauma or witnessed or been victims of assault, abuse or sexual abuse.

(b) Not later than January 1, 2019, the Chief Court Administrator shall, within available appropriations, develop and implement training for the judges of the Superior Court on (1) the healing value of the human-animal bond for children, (2) the value of therapy animals in dealing with traumatic situations, and (3) the benefits of animal-assisted activities and animal-assisted therapy.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2017

New section

KID

Joint Favorable Subst.