Meet Hatty, an Illinois county's first comfort dog helping child sexual assault victims

Hatty, a 2-year-old black Labrador retriever, has been sworn in as Cook County's first emotional support dog.

Posted: Nov 3, 2019 6:24 PM


Coming forward to report a sexual assault can be painful and emotionally exhausting. For children and people with developmental disabilities, retelling their stories can be especially confusing.

That's why the Cook County State's Attorney's Office in Chicago hired its first comfort dog, a black Labrador retriever named Hatty.

"We're excited to welcome Hatty to our team where she will provide comfort and peace to victims during one of the most difficult times in their lives," said Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx.

Two-year-old Hatty was sworn in on Tuesday, standing on her hind legs and placing one black paw across a law book as an oath was read.

Hatty's job will be to assist children and developmentally disabled victims of sexual trauma, an official press release said. Hatty will be there for the victims while they testify in court, as well as during interviews with prosecutors and officials.

"Navigating the criminal justice system can be confusing and scary, especially for young people and other victims of sexual assault," Foxx said.

"Victims are the center of our work, and I know personally that retelling a painful story of abuse can cause trauma all over again."

Foxx, the first African-American woman to lead the Cook County State's Attorney's Office — the country's second-largest prosecutor's office — struggled with her own story of sexual abuse when she was a child, CNN affiliate WLS reported.

"I can tell you, for years that I carried that trauma with me," Foxx said.

"So, imagine coming to an institution where you don't know the people and it's not just a welcoming place," she said. "[I want] to bring that experience I've had to try to figure out how we can lessen that anxiety for others."

Hatty was trained by prison inmates in southwestern Illinois, according to WLS.

The Labrador retriever will work a 9-to-5 human schedule and handle 150 to 200 cases every year. Prosecutors estimate Hatty will appear in court with victims twice a month.

Two trained office employees will provide the dog's housing and care.

In 2016, Illinois passed legislation which permits prosecutors to petition the court to allow a service dog to accompany children or developmentally disabled sexual assault victims while they testify in court.

Hatty was brought to Cook County in partnership with Duo Dogs, a nonprofit organization that provides highly skilled service dogs. According to a press release, the state's attorney's office held a fundraiser to gather funds for food, equipment and comfort materials.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 57779

Reported Deaths: 1670
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin18393825
Ramsey7130261
Dakota4112104
Anoka3456113
Stearns284720
Washington197843
Nobles17516
Olmsted164923
Scott143918
Mower10882
Rice10068
Blue Earth8655
Wright8275
Carver8052
Clay75840
Kandiyohi6811
Sherburne6677
St. Louis47519
Todd4212
Lyon4203
Freeborn3561
Steele3341
Nicollet32213
Benton3133
Watonwan3000
Winona25216
Crow Wing22114
Beltrami2070
Martin2045
Le Sueur2031
Chisago1841
Goodhue1838
Otter Tail1823
Cottonwood1730
Becker1481
McLeod1450
Pipestone1449
Polk1393
Douglas1360
Itasca13512
Waseca1330
Carlton1300
Pine1280
Dodge1250
Murray1221
Isanti1140
Unassigned10941
Chippewa1011
Brown852
Meeker852
Wabasha840
Faribault830
Morrison821
Sibley802
Rock750
Koochiching743
Pennington731
Jackson710
Mille Lacs693
Cass662
Fillmore610
Renville605
Lincoln540
Grant521
Swift521
Yellow Medicine500
Pope460
Roseau460
Houston400
Norman370
Redwood320
Wilkin313
Hubbard300
Kanabec301
Aitkin291
Marshall290
Mahnomen251
Wadena240
Big Stone220
Red Lake210
Lake180
Stevens160
Clearwater140
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle60
Kittson30
Cook20
Lake of the Woods10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 46704

Reported Deaths: 899
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk9874204
Woodbury367351
Black Hawk305462
Linn219887
Johnson200216
Dallas180735
Buena Vista179012
Scott163613
Dubuque159431
Marshall140725
Pottawattamie125724
Story112614
Wapello86633
Muscatine83948
Webster7637
Crawford7263
Sioux6072
Cerro Gordo58617
Tama54329
Warren5421
Jasper45825
Wright4511
Plymouth4488
Louisa37914
Dickinson3784
Clinton3383
Washington28810
Hamilton2431
Boone2342
Franklin2278
Bremer1967
Clarke1903
Emmet1852
Carroll1831
Shelby1761
Clay1741
Hardin1710
Marion1590
Allamakee1524
Poweshiek1518
Jackson1461
Benton1451
Des Moines1432
Mahaska13717
Floyd1322
Guthrie1285
Jones1262
Cedar1231
Buchanan1181
Butler1182
Hancock1172
Henry1143
Pocahontas1141
Lyon1080
Madison1072
Clayton1013
Cherokee991
Harrison990
Lee993
Delaware941
Humboldt941
Iowa941
Taylor940
Monona910
Winneshiek901
Mills850
Calhoun822
Kossuth820
Fayette810
Sac810
Palo Alto800
Mitchell780
Osceola780
Jefferson770
Page770
Grundy761
Winnebago760
Union741
Monroe707
Worth640
Lucas534
Chickasaw520
Davis511
Howard490
Cass481
Montgomery454
Appanoose433
Greene380
Fremont340
Van Buren341
Keokuk311
Ida290
Audubon281
Adair230
Decatur230
Ringgold211
Wayne191
Adams160
Unassigned40
Rochester
Broken Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 74°
Mason City
Overcast
77° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 79°
Albert Lea
Scattered Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 79°
Austin
79° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 80°
Charles City
Few Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 79°
Warming temps and rain inbound
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Seans Weather 8/6

Image

'Truck to Trunk' event happening today in Dodge County

Image

Boys and Girls Club preps for upcoming school year

Image

Discussions on new rules for seclusion rooms

Image

North Iowa baseball players named to All-Star series

Image

Rising above adversity

Image

Rochester Diversity Council Wants to "Lift Every Voice"

Image

Gov. Reynolds Signs Executive Order Allowing Some Felons to Vote

Image

A resurgent local dairy business

Image

Sara's 10PM Forecast - Wednesday

Community Events