Snohomish Co. Courthouse Dog
Last fall an 11-year-old girl sat in a Snohomish County courtroom recounting how she repeatedly was whipped with electrical cords, burned with lit cigarettes and starved for days. It took the child two hours to detail all the abuse she suffered at the hands of the Mukilteo woman who was supposed to care for her. The girl was not alone up on the witness stand. She had a friend.
Stilson, a gentle 80-pound black Labrador, was lying at her feet. For two hours Stilson held command, not moving or making a sound. He didn't even stir when the defense attorney accidentally knocked over a cup of water on the witness stand. Stilson had a job to do. He was there to offer the brave girl some comfort, to remind her that she wasn't alone and to reassure her that she was safe.
"I love that dog. I love what he has done for kids and victims. He helps them face what they have to face in the criminal justice system," said Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Lisa Paul, who secured a conviction in the abuse case. "With that girl I know that Stilson was so important to her. He was like a life ring, something she could hold on to."