Bella, a 2-month-old therapy dog in training, in December. The Florida Senate on Thursday gave the thumbs-up to allow such dogs in court for children testifying in abuse, abandonment and neglect cases, sending the bill to Gov. Rick Scott's desk. (File/WUFT News)
Florida Senate Passes Bill To Allow Therapy Animals In Court
By Associated Press
TALLAHASSEE — Children testifying in court in abuse, abandonment and neglect cases would be allowed the help of therapy animals under a bill heading to Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
The Senate passed the bill unanimously Thursday a week after the House also unanimously passed it.
It expands a law that already allows therapy animals for victims testifying in sexual-offense cases.
A legislative analysis of the bill says that research has shown animals reduce stress in children, and three Florida district courts that have allowed them have reported positive results.
After multiple pedestrian deaths in recent weeks along West University Avenue, the regional transportation planning group at a Monday meeting proposed installing additional traffic signals, well-lit crosswalks and temporary speed tables to slow down cars.