For release on May 21, 2020
Victim Services Unit
Meet Percy, The District Attorney’s New Court Facility Dog
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, looking for new ways to help vulnerable victims of crime get through the trauma of testifying in trial, have brought in a highly trained court facility dog.
The dog, a 2-year-old male black Labrador, accompanies crime victims during the various phases of the investigation and prosecution of crime, including defense interviews, competency hearings, and trial.
His name is Percy.
“Trial is truly difficult for victims, especially children,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “They are scared. They are intimidated. And yet, we need them as we seek justice. Percy will be there to comfort and calm them.”
The practice of using court facility dogs has taken off across the country. In California, the dogs are a being used in over a dozen counties.
Percy – handled by Victim Advocates Elvia Enriquez and Maria Lopez - will be used for particularly vulnerable victims, especially children, and adults with developmental disabilities. Dogs like Percy are bred for their intelligence and docile nature. They require nearly two years of intensive training.
Percy and all costs associated with his care and training are paid for by Victim Services’ grants. Although the pandemic has brought a halt to most trials, Percy and his handlers are doing regular virtual trainings, getting ready for the courts to open.
Note: The “Meet Percy” video accompanying this news release was recorded before the Shelter-in-Place orders, social distancing orders, and court orders.