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Wednesday, March 15, 2023, the Maine Committee on the Judiciary will accept public testimony on LD 888, to Allow Use of Courthouse Facility Dogs by Criminal Justice Agencies for Criminal Justice Purposes. The bill would (1) adopt definitions; (2) establish training requirements; and (3) authorize trained dogs to accompany a witness in courtroom appearances and other interactions where criminal justice is administered across the state.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) supports LD 888. Courthouse facility dogs provide a compassionate way to help traumatized victims, such as children, tell their stories. Each dog-and-handler team also acquaint themselves with the legal process before they are allowed to participate as legally-neutral companions for witnesses during the investigation and prosecution of crimes.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:  Maine residents are encouraged to register to testify via zoom or submit your testimony in support before March 15, 2023.

  1. Go to the Maine State Legislature website here and select “public hearing”.
  2. Scroll down to “Choose a committee” and select “Judiciary” from the drop-down menu.
  3. Select date “Mar 15, 2023, 9:00AM” and choose bill “LD 888 – An Act to Allow Use of Courthouse Facility Dogs by Criminal Justice Agencies for Criminal Justice Purposes”.
  4. Select your position as “support”. If you wish, you can add comments and/or upload written testimony in a file. You may also check the box allowing you to testify electronically over zoom. (A link will be sent to you.)
  5. Complete your contact information and hit the “submit/register” button.

You may also speak in person at the 9AM, March 15, 2023, public hearing. Sign in when you arrive at Room 438, Cross Building, 100 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333. Bring 20 copies of any written testimony you wish to submit to committee members.

For more information on these or other legislative issues in Connecticut, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at 919-816-3720 or