Switch, the first ‘emotional assistance dog’ is at the beginning of October in the service gone to the local police Brussels North (Schaerbeek/Evere/Saint-Josse-ten-Node). Switch is a boulab, a cross between a labrador and a Bernese mountain dog, and can victims support and comfort.
The project is coming over from Canada and is a first for Belgium. The Brussels police is working to ensure, together with the Mira Foundation, which is responsible for the training of the dogs.
The idea for the ‘emotional assistance dog’ comes from an inspector of the judicial services of the police force, says Louise Wéber, spokeswoman of the police of Brussels North.
‘It had been a long time that a gap exists in the assistance of victims during the judicial process. This often long and arduous process has the consequence that the victims are alone or abandoned can feel. There should be a solution to be found for better guidance to be able to offer to the victims. The emotional service dog turned out to be the ideal solution’.
Switch has since his arrival four interrogations of children in difficult family assisted. “Every time could take the dog for a positive distraction care’, according to police. ‘The child’s attention was distracted by something else and was no longer based on the stressful elements. Thanks to this distraction, the child is de-stressing and easier to talk with the researcher. That was so more details to be heard that might appear for the examination.’