Second Judical District
201 W, Colfax Ave, Dept. 801
Denver, CO 80202
January 11, 2023 Contact: Carolyn Tyler, Communications Director, email@example.com, 720-913-9025
Highly-Trained Facility Dog Joins Denver District Attorney’s Office
DENVER—Today, Denver District Attorney Beth McCann introduced Denver to “Bodhi,” a two-year-old Golden Retriever/Labrador Retriever mix that recently joined the office to provide emotional support for victims, witnesses and their family members. Bodhi is trustworthy in professional environments and can perform more than 40 commands. He aids in the investigation of crimes, in trial preparation and with courtroom testimony. As a Canine Companion for Independence (CCI) certified facility dog, Bodhi partners with his handler, Victim Advocate Shannon McFate, who has been with the office since 2006.
“The nature of our work is often traumatic,” explained Denver DA McCann. “Bodhi’s comforting presence helps people, and particularly children, survive their trauma and participate more openly and fully in the criminal justice process. Bodhi also supports our employees’ well-being with every tail wag, game of fetch and belly rub.”
Judges will be asked if they will allow Bodhi to lie at the feet of a person while he or she testifies. He will always be out of sight of the jury.
“The courtroom can be a stressful environment for many people so putting participants at ease helps us get to the truth,” said Denver County Court Judge Kerri Lombardi. “I appreciate the calming and positive impact Bodhi will certainly have on victims, witnesses and those engaged in the process.”
For two years, Bodhi was housed and trained with an official CCI puppy raiser and was introduced to as many experiences and situations as possible to prepare him for his future. This included trips to libraries, grocery stores, drug and department stores, restaurants of all kinds, amusement parks, sporting events, courthouses, medical appointments. In February 2022, Bodhi was returned to the CCI Southwest Regional campus in Oceanside, California to continue training with a professional CCI trainer. Bodhi demonstrated a sound and appropriate temperament to graduate from the CCI program and was certified by CCI for work in public.
Additionally, Bodhi has met the standards set by Assistance Dogs International prior to placement. Bodhi was among the 30-40% of dogs to complete this training successfully. Since teaming with McFate, Bodhi has had continual on-the-job training at the Denver District Attorney’s Office, Denver County Courthouse, Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse, Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center, and numerous other public environments to maintain his training and discipline. When he’s not on the job, Bodhi enjoys playing with his two young human brothers and napping.
About the Denver DA’s Office
Our mission is to professionally and competently prosecute crimes and investigate criminal activity on behalf of the people of the State of Colorado and to seek equal justice for all in the criminal justice system. Our mission includes the prevention and deterrence of crimes, support of the well-being of victims, participation in the community, transparency, accountability, and improvement of the criminal justice system to provide fair alternatives to incarceration in appropriate cases.