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Introducing Izzy, the Macomb County therapy dog helping kids in court

For kids who find themselves in front of a judge, the mute walls and neutral tones of the courtroom can be scary.

That's why Macomb County just filled a very important position to help any kids struggling with the process. Her name is Izzy and she's a Goldendoodle - and a very good one at that.

"She has a calming effect on just about everyone she comes into contact with," said Amy Mitchell, Izzy's handler.

Izzy once found herself the product of an unjust world as well. She was rescued from a hoarding situation in Shelby Township in 2018. 

Now, she offers love and support to the littlest people that come to court.

"The administration and the staff in this building put kids first and what they need and if having a dog around helps them work through their issues, then we're willing to do it," Mitchell said. "She is there for kids if they need some support during something difficult like a tough court hearing or a tough therapy session. She's been available to youth who come in from DHHS."

Children might find themselves largely alone when in court. They might be there for reasons out of their control and in need of help. 

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Therapy animals offer emotional support to people who might suffer from depression or anxiety. In Izzy's case, it's young people unsure of what's going on in or might be scared.

"Instead of a child leaving the building angry and possibly having more problems at home when they get home, they're leaving here with a smile on their face and it's been gratifying to the staff here as well," said Mitchell.