By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer
COLUMBIANA – On Wednesday Aug. 3, local residents gathered together to celebrate the fifth birthday of Owen’s House celebrity dog Fitz.
Fitzgerald II, known to the community as simply Fitz, is a facility dog that is stationed at Owen’s House to comfort individuals throughout the forensic interview process.
“He brings comfort and hope to the kids who come to Owen’s House and walk through our doors,” said Forensic Interviewer Maribeth Bowman.
Fitz is one of 11 facility dogs that are spread throughout the state of Alabama.
“(He’s) here to lend a helping hand,” Bowman said. “We consider him an asset to our center, our team, and our community”
The birthday party was a collaboration between Owen’s House and the Farm company in Columbiana. It was the first time they celebrated Fitz’s birthday on a community wide level.
“It was just a decision to celebrate Fitz, all he is and does for victims and team members in the community,” said Bowman. “A way to say thanks for the support he brings us.”
At the party there were snacks such as Pupperoni pizza, pupcakes and fruity kibbles, Bowman said.
People came to the event from Shelby county, Chilton county and Montgomery county.
“For his birthday Fitz asked for school supplies for kids who are in foster care in Shelby county and Chilton county,” Bowman said.
They received over 100 items for supplies such as backpacks, markers, notebooks, crayons, scissors and binders.
Bowman remarked on the success and said “we plan on doing it again next year.”
Those who wish to keep up with Fitz and other events with Owen’s House can follow their Facebook page.