Doggie Witness Support Person?

I don’t know how I came across it, but this website has some reallly interesting articles. For example, this article posted the other day raised an idea I never considered. What if an alleged victim was allowed to have a doggie, instead of a person, as her witness support “person”? Apparently it happened in the case referenced in the article.

20130810-112837.jpg

Jane Doe would make a really good doggie support person.

California’s Penal Code section (868.5) that authorizes a witness support person specifically says the witness may have up to two “persons” as support. Does “persons” include doggies? Doubtful. That said, if a judge allowed it with no statutory authority does a defendant have any legal ground to stand on to oppose it? I’m no expert, but my guess is that as a defendant accused of a terrible crime, I would be worried that having the alleged victim testify with a cute doggie next to her might elicit more sympathy and emotion from the jury than if a human being was next to her. Just a thought.