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Dog for therapeutic purposes

The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners has given the green light to the use of a trained dog for therapeutic and calming purposes.

Commissioners on Tuesday OK’d an agreement with Linda Baker, victims’ rights coordinator who works for the county prosecutor’s office.

Baker said three other counties in the state have dogs used for victims or witnesses who need a calming presence when they meet with prosecutors and investigators for interviews related to a case.

Baker has agreed to keep the dog, as well as pay for its food and medical care. It would accompany her to work and be available on an as-needed basis for victims or witnesses who are nervous or intimidated during the interview process.

An anonymous St. Joseph County resident has given $500 to purchase the dog, which will come from a professionally trained school.