The Hennepin County Attorney's Office New Staff Member, Barrett the Emotional Support Dog

Tuesday,

For the first time in the history of the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, an emotional support animal will be on staff.

Since late-December, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office has “employed” the emotional support services of Barrett, an F1B Golden Doodle: 75% Standard Poodle and 25% Golden Retriever.

Barrett the Emotional Support Dog for the Hennepin County Attorney's Office

Barrett is currently engaged in “sensory” training where he assimilates to the sounds, sights and smells of the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office and its many employees. In 12 months, Barrett will begin working “full-time” or roughly five half-days per week. His full-time engagement will follow a rigorous training schedule that will outfit him with the skills needed to support Hennepin County Attorney’s Office employees, witnesses and victims. He is presently under the tutelage of dog trainer Kathryn Neumann from Augusta Dog Training.

The decision for the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office to get a facility or emotional support dog was a joint effort between the Special Litigation Division and Victim Witness based on scientific research showing the benefits of having a dog working with individuals in a courthouse, courtroom and or legal office.

“Having an emotional support animal like Barrett in our office will provide much needed stress and anxiety-relief to our staff members, as well as the witnesses and victims we work with during cases. Research suggests that having emotional support animals working in courthouses and other legal offices provides comfort and creates a less threatening environment for victims and witnesses. Barrett is a welcome and necessary edition to our office,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said.

Barrett currently lives with Hennepin County Attorney’s Office employee Nicole Cornale.