Hero Dog provides support , comfort to young Metro East victims - KMOV.com

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Hero Dog provides support , comfort to young Metro East victims

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Violent crimes investigator Jeff Parker sits with  support dog Homer in St. Clair Co. state attorney office. (Credit: KMOV) Violent crimes investigator Jeff Parker sits with support dog Homer in St. Clair Co. state attorney office. (Credit: KMOV)

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) – Heroes don’t always wear capes or uniforms but sometimes, they support those who do. As for St. Clair County State Attorney’s Office, their hero, Homer, walks on four legs.

Working alongside Belleville violent crime investigator Jeff Parker, Homer is a service dog who assists young victims as they sit through their interviews.

“I’ve seen them cry on him, I’ve seen them hug him and I’ve seen them lay on him while they’re being talked to,” Parker said.

 St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly agrees with Parker, stating that Homer, who was a gift from Support Dogs Inc., provides a level of comfort that allows the victims to share their story.

Homer sits on the couch next to the children as they speak to investigators in the interview room. Kelly said having Homer in the room allows the kids to open up about the ‘terrible things they have experienced’.

“With him being there putting [the kids] at ease and allowing them to open up, we know that Homer has made the difference in many, many cases and help us bring people to justice,” he said.

Not in his official job description, Homer also spread joy around the office.

"There are days that Homer’s presence really makes us feel better and puts us at ease. It really reduces our stress too,” Kelly said.

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