New York Lawyers Are Fighting Over a Cuddly Dog

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Not Rosie, but close. Photo: iStockphoto

For now, Rosie the golden retriever is welcomed into courtrooms to comfort frightened witnesses, like the 15-year-old girl who testified about being raped by her father. The man was convicted, but his attorneys are appealing by blaming the animal, "arguing that the dogs may unfairly sway jurors with their cuteness and the natural empathy they attract — whether a witness is telling the truth or not," the New York Times reports. At especially difficult moments, "Rosie rose and seemed to push the girl gently with her nose." Although dogs are allowed in a few other states, and teddy bears, which could serve a similar purpose, were approved by a New York court in 1994, the debate over Rosie could set the local precedent moving forward. But no matter the court's decision, Rosie will likely be fine thanks to her other skills, "including taking off a person’s socks without biting any toes."

Dog Helps Young Rape Victim Testify [NYT]