Community celebrates Fitz’s birthday, gathers school supplies

Published 12:57 pm Tuesday, August 9, 2022

By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – On Wednesday Aug. 3, local residents gathered together to celebrate the fifth birthday of Owens House celebrity dog Fitz.

Fitzgerald II, known to the community simply as Fitz, is a facility dog that is stationed at Owens House to comfort individuals throughout the forensic interview process.

“He brings comfort and hope to the kids who come to Owens House and walk through our doors,” Forensic Interviewer Maribeth Bowman said.

Fitz is one of 11 facility dogs that are spread throughout the state of Alabama.

“(He’s) here to lend a helping paw,” Bowman said. “We consider him an asset to our center, our team and our community”

The birthday party was a collaboration between Owens 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.

“we plan on doing it again next year,” Bowman said.

Those who wish to keep up with Fitz and other events with Owens House can follow its Facebook page at OwensHouseCAC.