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 I’m Fitz! 

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I work at the Madison County Courthouse, and my job is to comfort anxious children and litigants, support victims of crime and generally win people’s hearts! 


I’m a Labrador retriever, and I became a county employee in March 2019, which means I’ve been a member of the staff for nearly five (human) years. I came from Duo Dogs, a not-for-profit that is based in St. Louis and trains special-purpose dogs.


My handlers say I work very hard, and have a very important job. They say that when I come into a room, you can almost see and feel the anxiety and fear begin to slip away. 


My handlers are Tiffany Brooks, who is a Victim Advocate in the State’s Attorney’s Office, and Emily Bell, who is an Assistant State’s Attorney. They said a child’s testimony is often the most critical component in the successful prosecution of a case, but children in such cases commonly suffer trauma. 


“They can feel frightened, confused, betrayed, nervous and sometimes even angry — understandably,” Bell said. “When someone is overwhelmed by those types of feelings, particularly fear, it’s difficult for them to talk about what happened. But when they meet Fitz, almost instantly, he brings them courage, calmness and a sense of trust.” 


When I’m working, I spend most of my day at the State’s Attorney’s Office, the Madison County Courthouse or the Madison County Child Advocacy Center, where forensic interviews of child victims are conducted. I can even work in an actual courtroom — I’m court-certified to sit next to children while they’re on the witness stand. 


The judges at the courthouse say I have been an amazing resource for children and adults in courtroom situations and those in need of comfort and support. The judges say the children in our courts are often directly or indirectly involved in cases. The judges say they wants kids to be able to just be kids, and not worry about everything going on in the courtroom.


Fitz FAQs

How old is Fitz? 7
Where is he from?  Duo Dogs Inc., a not-for-profit that is based in St. Louis and trains special-purpose dogs, including dogs that work in the legal system to provide comfort and support to victims. 
How long did his training last?  
Two years. His handlers also completed special training through Duo Dogs. 
Where does he go when he’s not at work?  
Home with one of his handlers.
What does he like to do when he’s not at work?  Play soccer, fetch, hang out. 
What if he has to potty while he’s at work?  We take him outside.  
What does Fitz eat?  
High-quality dog food. OK, and maybe an occasional treat. 
Is there anyone he’d like to thank?  Yes! Duo Dogs Inc.; the Madison County Bar Association for their financial support; his veterinarian, Dr. Daniel Buller at Bethalto Animal Clinic, for providing free medical care and services; and Whisker Bones for helping to keep him handsome and provide treats. 
Is Fitz on Facebook?  Yes, he’s an internet sensation! Just type “Duo Dog Fitz-Courthouse Facility Dog” into the search bar on Facebook. 
Is there a way that I can support Fitz?  You could make a donation in his honor to the Madison County Child Advocacy Center (, or make a donation to Duo Dogs ( 

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