ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A behind-the-scenes player at the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office helps victims through difficult and traumatic cases. Now, more help is on the way to provide the same kind of assistance to the people whose job it is to work on those cases.
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Katelyn Divett is one of the dozens of crime victims who has been comforted by the DA’s courthouse therapy dog, Woodstock, as they had to testify about traumatic memories on the stand, go through pre-trial interviews or even be in the courtroom listening to the trial.
“It was calming. Sometimes it felt when you’re dealing with everyone… that people are too much,” Divett said.
Woostock is most often used by young victims, but District Attorney Raul Torrez also noticed how popular Woodstock is with staff members, especially those who work on sexual assault and child abuse cases. “It’s not uncommon for people in the building to break down, to cry, to just lean on friends and lean on colleagues, to try and work through that process,” Torrez said.
This made Torrez decide it was time to bring in backup. “We’re getting Roselle here in a couple of weeks she is going to join Woodstock in the building,” Torrez said.
Roselle will be available for victims, but her primary job is to comfort staff. “Hopefully it can just make this work a little easier for the people that do it day in and day out,” Torrez said.
Divette says if she’s half as good as Woodstock, she knows the two-lab crew will be an amazing asset. “His happiness is very infectious. He makes you happy just cuz he’s happy,” Divette said.
Both Woodstock and Rosette were trained at Assistance Dogs of the West, a nonprofit based in Santa Fe.