A man has been convicted three years after his biological daughter testified about sexual abuse with the help of a service dog employed by Calgary police.

Hawk is a police trauma dog, normally called in to help people open up when they’ve experienced difficult events such as sexual assaults, homicide cases and fatal crashes.

In 2015, he was also called in to help a seven-year-old girl testify about a number of incidents of sexual abuse at the hands of her father.

The girl testified via a video link from a separate room in the Calgary Court Centre while Hawk was at her side.

She pet the dog and even hugged him as she gave her account of the abuse that occurred when she was between two and four years old.

Hawk also helped her older brother testify in the case.

It’s believed that it’s the first time in Canada that a dog was used to help a child deliver evidence in a case.