Therapy dogs at work in courtroom during Bourgoin trial

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) As the Steven Bourgoin murder trial continues in Burlington, a pair of dogs are hard at work in the courtroom. The large, English mastiffs have been there as therapy dogs.

Therapy dogs can serve as a distraction from the sad or disturbing details, especially in cases like this deadly wrong-way crash that killed five teens.

"Fred" and his handler, Brian Carten, shared why these dogs serve an important role in these cases. Turns out the dogs aren't just for victims.

"They don't concentrate on what's going on. Kind of breaks up... not just Fred. First responders, state police, victims' advocates-- breaks this up a bit. Breaks the stress up a little which is what he's supposed to be doing," Carten said.

Fred is also sometimes joined by his older brother, Judson.