(a) For purposes of this section:
“Facility dog” means a dog that is a graduate of an assistance dog organization that is accredited by Assistance Dogs International or a similar internationally recognized organization whose main purpose is to grant accreditation to assistance dog organizations based on standards of excellence in all areas of assistance dog acquisition, training, and placement. A “facility dog” shall be specially trained to provide emotional support to witnesses testifying in judicial proceedings without causing a distraction during the proceedings.
“Vulnerable witness” means a witness whose ability to testify in a judicial proceeding will be hampered or ineffective without the assistance of a facility dog, for reasons including but not limited to intellectual or emotional disability, intimidation, or age.
(b) A court may permit the use of a facility dog in a judicial proceeding involving the testimony of a vulnerable witness if the court determines that there is a compelling necessity for the use of a facility dog to facilitate the testimony of the vulnerable witness.
(c) Before the use of a facility dog in a judicial proceeding, the moving party shall file a motion certifying to the court:
(1) The credentials of the facility dog;
(2) That the facility dog is adequately insured; and
(3) That a relationship has been established between the witness and the facility dog.
(d) To the extent necessary, the court may impose restrictions, or instructions to the jury, regarding the presence of the facility dog during the proceedings.
Laws 2016, ch. 178, § 1, eff. June 30, 2016.