Second Judical District
201 W, Colfax Ave, Dept. 801
Denver, CO 80202
December 27, 2018 Contact: Carolyn Tyler, Communications Director, email@example.com, 720-913-9025
DENVER—The Denver District Attorney’s Office is delighted to introduce its newest – and arguably most popular – staff member, “Rylan.” A two-year old Labrador/Golden Retriever mix, Rylan is a highly-trained facility dog that is helping comfort and support victims in the courtroom.
“Facility dogs like Rylan have a soothing impact on many people who have suffered trauma from criminal behavior, especially children,” said Denver District Attorney Beth McCann. “Rylan is already providing comfort to survivors and helping them be more open when they recount the details of what happened to them. That in turn should lead to better case outcomes.”
While he is valued at up to $50,000, Canine Companions for Independence provided Rylan free of charge to the Denver District Attorney’s Office. As a facility dog, Rylan underwent a two-year extensive and specialized training program and learned more than 40 commands. His handler, Senior Deputy District Attorney Jason Kramer, volunteered to house and care for Rylan. Kramer underwent two weeks of intensive training himself to work with and care for Rylan.
“Unlike service dogs that work around the clock, Rylan goes to work with me, but he gets nights and weekends off and is just a normal two-year old lab mix,” said Senior Deputy District Attorney Jason Kramer. “As part of his extensive training, Rylan has been exposed to all manner of places and distractions including restaurants, churches, airports and even a baseball game.”
Already, Rylan has met with numerous child-victims who were interviewed in order to determine facts of a case and whether criminal charges should be filed. Judges will be asked if they will allow Rylan to lie at the feet of a person while he or she testifies. He will always be out of sight of the jury. Rylan was present for a preliminary hearing and a sentencing hearing and he is quickly becoming a court regular interacting with staff, attorneys and witnesses in a way that personalizes dockets. Rylan will work with veterans in Veterans Court, staff in Juvenile Court and children at the Rose Andom Center.
“Rylan has brought a lot of cheer to the Denver DA’s Office and our own staff report he helps take some of the stress out of the difficult work we do,” concluded McCann.