Courthouse Dogs

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McLennan County commissioners have asked the county attorney to recommend a policy on animals in the courthouse.

The request delays a decision on whether Buff the cocker spaniel can keep coming to court with State District Judge Ralph Strother.

Strother has been bringing the 13-year-old dog with him to the courthouse two to four days a week for the past four or five years.

But Commissioner Lester Gibson asked his colleagues to consider
adopting a policy on animals in the courthouse.

Strother says his dog spends much of the day in a chair in his office. The dog has a calming influence on children who are in his court during divorce or child-custody disputes, he says.

The five-member court was divided during a discussion, with arguments made supporting Buff and arguments made for a ban on
animals in public buildings.

County Judge Jim Lewis said he hasn't gotten any complaints about animals in the courthouse.