Meet the courtroom therapy dog helping survivors of teens killed in 2016 crash

Local News

There may be no comforting the families of the five Vermont teenagers killed in a horrific crash on I-89 in July 2016.

But as they attend the trial of Steven Bourgoin, the man accused of murder for causing the crash, Fred, a four-year old, 200-pound English Mastiff, is there for them.

Fed is one of two therapy dogs at Bourgoin’s trial. His handler, Brian Carten of Therapy Dogs of Vermont, said Fred “does some amazing work.”

“Even from my perspective, to watch, this isn’t, you know, that easy,” Carten said Tuesday outside the courtroom. “But, to be able to watch what he does and what he has done from minute one that this incident happened two and a half years ago, it’s kind of like going to church is the best way to put it honestly. … And it’s incredibly gratifying to watch him do it.” 

Before he started comforting people, Fred had quite a career as a show dog, appearing in the Westminster dog show twice.

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