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Pepper The Pup Hired To Help Victims In Waukesha County

Patch logo Patch 4/15/2021 Karen Pilarski
a large brown dog lying on the ground: Pepper is a facility dog and has joined Victim Assistance in Waukesha County to provide companionship and comfort to child and adult victims of crime. © Waukesha District Attorney’s Office Pepper is a facility dog and has joined Victim Assistance in Waukesha County to provide companionship and comfort to child and adult victims of crime.

WAUKESHA COUNTY, WI— The Waukesha District Attorney’s Office Victim Assistance Program is celebrating National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (April 18 to April 24) with a furry friend. They hired a dog named Pepper.

Pepper, a facility dog, has joined Victim Assistance to provide companionship and comfort to child and adult victims of crime, according to a news release.

Pepper is a nationally certified, purebred Labrador Retriever who knows more than 60 commands.

Her demeanor is calm and gentle and she loves attention, especially from children. Pepper meets with victims during prosecutor interviews and trial preparation. She also waits with witnesses before they have to testify.

Pepper has already accompanied child victims to court during their testimony. Pepper’s presence can assist in reducing victims’ anxiety and stress, the release said.

Victim Assistance has been working to establish a facility dog program for several years. They worked closely with Journey Together Service Dog, a non-profit organization that provides highly trained service dogs to veterans, crime victims and agencies.

Journey Together teaches inmates job skills in prison dog training programs; Pepper was raised and trained for her career of helping crime victims by inmates at Oshkosh Correctional Institute and by Journey Together volunteers, the release said.

The Waukesha Victim Assistance Facility Dog Program is completely funded by grants and donations. Kappa Theta Rho, the Criminal Justice Club of the Waukesha County Technical College, heard about the efforts to implement a facility dog program and created a fundraising campaign to support the dog.

Pepper will be at the W Building at WCTC at 4:30 p.m. on Monday to accept a check from Kappa Theta Rho, and to kick off National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

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