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Justice Facility Dog Has Been Deployed On 77 Trials

By Allan Dearing Oct 3, 2022 | 8:09 AM

Courtesy La Belle Marielle/Facebook

Marielle the justice facility dog of the Beausejour Family Crisis Resource Centre, located at the Courage Centre, has been supporting child and adult victims of violence in the criminal justice system since 2019.

Marielle, a Standard Poodle, has provided support in various settings such as crisis intervention, forensic interviews and accompanies victims to court.

In an update to tri-community councils this week, executive director Kristal LeBlanc said Marielle has been deployed on 77 trials where she provided direct testimonial support.

“She’s been deployed in New Brunswick Provincial Court, New Brunswick Court of King’s Bench, judge alone, judge and jury three times and also provided some assistance in Nova Scotia.”

LeBlanc said Marielle’s job is to calm someone down to improve memory recall given that it may be difficult to remember incidents which happened two years ago for example.

“Marielle puts pressure on the child’s feet on their lap depending on if they’re using the witness box or closed circuit TV. We lower that cortisol down and we combat it by using your oxytocin –  so your happy hormone.”

LeBlanc emphasized Marielle is not a therapy dog and she noted how justice facility dogs are born, raised and rigorously trained at a facility in Ontario.

She even has her own Facebook page, La Belle Marielle.


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