Judge Scott Belt was well aware that Bunker wouldn’t do too well repeating his oath Wednesday. However, the Grundy County Courthouse’s new dog sat still and had no trouble getting paw-printed or shaking the judge’s hand.
State’s Attorney Russ Baker said Bunker already has raised the bar for the staff at the courthouse, and everyone is very excited. He’s already working with victims and witnesses, and he has been a joy to have around.
“We’re very excited about him, along with the strides we’ve made with the Children’s Advocacy Center,” Baker said. “Bunker has dovetailed interests over there with some of our younger witnesses and victims.”
Sydney Bartels spent about two months taking Bunker back and forth to Peoria for his training, where he received the same training as many service dogs.
His job will be to help victims both at the courthouse and at the Children’s Advocacy Center. He can greet and comfort children as long as their parents are OK with it.
Bartels said Bunker has a lot of special rules right now since he is new.
“Anytime you want to pet him, you have to ask first,” Bartels said. “That’s difficult right now because everybody wants to say hi, and he wants to say hi to everyone else.”
He is not allowed to receive treats from anyone except Bartels, but Baker said he breaks that rule sometimes.
Bunker was very happy while taking his oath, and he seemed very excited to say hi to everyone who came to see his swearing in.