Therapy dog helps Central Texas prosecutors make their case

Posted at 9:24 PM, Mar 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-08 23:23:50-05

CORYELL COUNTY, TX — One of the newest crime fighting tools in Central Texas comes from an unusual place.

The Coryell County District Attorney recently brought a therapy dog into the office hoping it would put witnesses more at ease.

Prosecutor Jana Kaspar had a tough case with a young victim.

"I'd met the girl several times, but had not yet been able to talk to her about any of the difficult parts of her case and her story," said Kaspar.

But the newest member of the Coryell District Attorney's team changed that.

Winston, became the D.A.'s new therapy dog.

”They want to love on him everywhere we go and he loves to be loved on and his love is contagious, very much so,” said Jenny Featherston, the Coryell County Victim's Coordinator.

Featherston came up with the idea hoping it would help witnesses open up.

District Attorney Dusty Boyd says Winston sure has helped.

”They see Winston and it just lights up their day,” Boyd said.

The Labraboodle came as a donation from "Patriot Paws," a group that trains dogs to serve veterans.

”I'm trying to think outside the box in providing a different avenue for our victims to come in and communicate with us. It was an easy sell," said Boyd.

And in this office, Winston found lots of buyers.

Winston is only 15 months old, he is still a puppy. But, he's big.

They say he's not going to get much bigger, but his heart definitely will.

Winston is only the third District Attorney therapy dog in all of Texas, and one of only two currently working.

Within days Winston changed the tone of the office.

”He has been a calm that we've needed for not just our victims, but he has sure been a blessing for our victims," said Featherston.

And prosecutors say, his calming influence helps witnesses, especially in Jana Kaspar's tough case.

”I took Winston down there and it completely changed the tone of the meeting that I had with her. She was petting him and was able to come forth with a lot of details that just talking face-to-face with an adult, a child would not be comfortable with,” said Kaspar.

She, and others, hope Winston will lead to stronger cases, and justice for all.