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LouLou Is Newest Child Court Advocate

Posted On November 17, 2015

By Mike Perleberg

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LouLou the dog has her paw held by owner Donna Parniuk as she is sworn in as a Child Advocate Volunteer by Dearborn and Ohio Counties Circuit Court Judge James D. Humphrey on Monday, November 16. Photo by Mike Perleberg, Eagle Country 99.3.

(Dearborn County, Ind.) – Dearborn and Ohio County courts are getting a four-legged helper.

Dearborn Circuit Court Judge James D. Humphrey swore in LouLou the dog as a Child Advocate Volunteer with the Dearborn-Ohio County Child Advocate Program on Monday.

LouLou wasn’t able to recite the oath. She is, after all, a dog. But the border collie mixed breed did put her paw print on the judge’s order making her an official Child Advocate Volunteer.

Going into a courtroom can be a difficult situation for a young child. When needed, LouLou will be called upon to visit with children to help put them at ease before they appear in court.

“If you can imagine being taken away from your parents and the home you know and being thrown in with some strangers. She’s there to help relieve that anxiety that those children definitely have,” said Katrina McIntosh, director of the child advocate program.

LouLou is the pet of Alex and Donna Parniuk of Bright. They’ve trained her to follow commands and not react to loud noises or jump. The couple has been taking her to help in settings ranging from juvenile detention centers to hospitals to college campuses.

“I think it helps. I really do,” Alex said.

“It really calmed kids down and (Donna) thought it would really help with our kids,” McIntosh said.

Border collies are considered one of the intelligent and trainable of dog breeds.

Human beings interested in volunteering with the Dearborn-Ohio County Child Advocate Program should call McIntosh at (812) 537-8741 or visit www.voiceofachild.net. McIntosh says there are currently 18 active volunteers for 45 cases.

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LouLou “signed” the court order making her an official volunteer with the Dearborn-Ohio County Child Advocate Program. Photo by Mike Perleberg, Eagle Country 99.3.

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