23A-24-10. Certified therapeutic dogs--Definitions
In any criminal proceeding, upon motion of any party as provided in § 23A-24-11, the court may enter any order necessary to allow a child witness or a witness having a developmental disability to be accompanied by a certified therapeutic dog during the witness' testimony in the manner provided in § 23A-24-12.
Terms used in §§ 23A-24-10 to 23A-24-12, inclusive, mean:
(1) “Certified therapeutic dog,” a dog that has received the requisite training or certification and is registered with Therapy Dogs Incorporated, Therapy Dogs International, Assistance Dogs International, or an equivalent organization to perform the duties associated with therapy dogs in places such as hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities where the emotional benefits of therapy dogs are recognized;
(2) “Certified handler,” a person who has received training and is registered with Therapy Dogs Incorporated, Therapy Dogs International, Assistance Dogs International, or an equivalent organization for offering the person's animal for assistance purposes and has received additional training on the protocols and policies of courts, the expected roles of the person's animal assistance team, and the expected interaction so as not to interfere with the collection of evidence or the effective administration of justice;
(3) “Child witness,” a person who has been or will be called to testify in a criminal proceeding and is under the age of eighteen; and
(4) “Developmental disability,” the meaning provided in § 27B-1-18.
Source: SL 2020, ch 102, § 1.
23A-24-11. Introduction of certified therapeutic dog--Motion--Contents
Before the introduction of a certified therapeutic dog into the courtroom, the party desiring to utilize the presence of a certified therapeutic dog shall, outside the presence of the jury, file a motion containing the following information:
(1) The credentials of the certified therapeutic dog;
(2) The credentials of the certified handler
(3) That the certified therapeutic dog is adequately insured;
(4) That a basic relationship has been established between the child witness, or the witness having a developmental disability, and the certified therapeutic dog in anticipation of testimony;
(5) That the certified therapeutic dog is capable of sitting quietly for extended periods of time; and
(6) That the presence of the certified therapeutic dog may reduce anxiety experienced by the child witness or the witness having a developmental disability while testifying in the criminal trial or hearing.
Source: SL 2020, ch 102, § 2.
23A-24-12. Certified handlers--Limitations
If the court grants a motion pursuant to § 23A-24-11, the certified handler may accompany the certified therapeutic dog to the witness stand with the child witness or the witness having a developmental disability and remain with the certified therapeutic dog for the duration of the witness' testimony without interfering with any juror's view of the witness. The certified handler may either sit to the side of the witness stand or behind the witness stand.
Source: SL 2020, ch 102, § 3.