Mitchell, a yellow Labrador retriever, was donated to the State’s Attorney’s Office by DUO Dogs, a national, non-profit organization. Mitchell’s primary role is to comfort and provide compassion to child victims who are interviewed at the Children’s Advocacy Center. The center assists with the investigation and prosecution of crimes involving the sexual and physical abuse of children.
For more information about DUO Dogs, you can view their website at www.duodogs.org.
Hitch is a Black Labrador Retriever born on May 3, 2014. Similarly to Mitchell, Hitch was donated to the Lake County State's Attorney's Office by Support Dogs, Inc, a national not-for-profit organization accredited by Assistance Dogs International.
Hitch went through an extensive series of trainings, including a formal program at the Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center (SWICC). While at the SWICC program, inmates of the facility actually aid in the early training stages of these facility dogs. After the trainings concluded, Hitch graduated from Support Dogs, Inc., and became a professionally certified and trained assistance dog.
Hitch is assigned to the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit's Therapeutic Intensive Monitoring Program. The program includes Specialty Courts such as: Mental Health Court, Drug Court and Veterans Court.
The current target population for Drug Court includes offenders who reside in Lake County, are before the court on a class 2, 3, or 4 non-violent felony charge, and are deemed drug dependent but amenable for treatment.
Hitch will be available in the Therapeutic Intensive Monitoring Courts as well as throughout the courtrooms to serve as comfort for those who have entered the criminal justice system due to a mental health illness, and/or traumatic circumstances during their lifetime, or have an addiction.
Browser is a 3-year-old English Black Labrador who works as an electronic detection canine in the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office. He’s a specialty K9 and only one of about 30 such dogs in the United States.
Browser was trained by DUO Dogs to sniff out a bonding chemical baked on to all electronic circuitry. The chemical is undetectable to the human nose, but clear as day to the trained canine. Browser has been on over 40 search warrants since he started working with Carol Gudbrandsen at the state’s attorney’s office, and assists other agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.
Gudbrandsen also gives presentations on Internet Safety and Cyberbullying in schools throughout the county, using Browser as her special guest. If a school would like to bring in Carol and Browser, they need to contact the state’s attorney’s office main number at (847) 377-3000.