The Courthouse Dog Film Poster

Tampa “Dogumentary” Wags its Way to World Debut at 2017 Gasparilla International Film Festival

TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 17, 2017) A dogumentary (documentary) centered around Florida’s first courthouse dog will debut at the 2017 Gasparilla International Film Festival in March.

HCP Associate’s production company, Gulf+Atlantic Films ( produced the film titled “The Courthouse Dog.” The “Dogumentary” tells the story of how Guardian ad Litem (GAL) volunteers, former Voices for Children of Tampa Bay Director Betsy Smith and GAL volunteer Brenda Kocher were able to bring the Courthouse Dog Program and the film’s star, Tibet, to the Hillsborough County 13th Judicial Circuit.

Tibet provides emotional support for the abused, neglected and abandoned children who are facing the dependency court system during stressful and difficult proceedings.

Tibet was the first facility dog staffed in the state. Thousands of children have to testify without any support.

With the success of the program which began in 2014, they hope to expand and bring more facility dogs to courthouses around the state.

Most the production took place at the George E. Edgecomb Courthouse in downtown Tampa.

“The Courthouse Dog” will debut at the festival March 3 from 5-7 p.m. at the Muvico in Ybor City.

The Gasparilla International Film Festival runs March 2-9. For more information, visit

To learn more about Voices for Children and Guardian ad Litem, please visit or call (813) 275-9300.