Theo the courthouse dog is the newest staff member in the Albemarle Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. The four year-old black Lab comes from Service Dogs of Virginia where he’s been in training since he was a puppy. Assistant prosecutor Matt Quatrara says Theo’s demeanor makes him ideal for his new job as courthouse dog. Quatrara says Theo’s role is to offer a calm presence that can bring comfort and make the legal process less stressful for victims and witnesses. For example, he says kids who come into the office and talk about what might be the worst thing that has happened to them, or for a rape victim or a domestic violence victim, Theo calms them down. Quatrara and Albemarle Victim Witness Director Susan Painter have spent the last week in training to be Theo’s handlers. Theo is funded by assets seized from drug crimes without additional cost to taxpayers.
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