The Terrebonne Parish District Attorney’s Office lost a highly valued member of it team last night.
Duvall Beeson, the courthouse’s facility dog that came to the aid of child victims over the last 6 ½ years, died last night due to complications from a heart defect at 8 years old.
“Duvall was like a family member to us,” Terrebonne Parish District Attorney Joe Waitz Jr. said. “His passing leaves a void that would be difficult to fill. He served our community well, and we are going to miss him very, very much.”
The Labrador-retriever mix provided comfort for children being interviewed at the Terrebonne Children's Advocacy Center — a non-profit agency, initiated by Waitz, that provides a child-friendly atmosphere for children who are brought in after reported physical and sexual abuse. The interviews are recorded so the victims do not have to repeat their stories for multiple agencies.
Duvall and his handler, Tommy Beeson — chief investigator for the District Attorney’s Office — conducted approximately 140 interviews a year.
The canine even appeared in courtrooms, lying next to child victims in support as they testified on the stand.
For their outstanding service, Duvall and Beeson, were given an award by the Courthouse Dogs Foundation this past weekend.
Duvall’s Facebook page has been flooded with sympathetic posts since early this morning from members of the community who got the know the four-legged companion.
“He was a great asset to this office,” Beeson said. “He has a heart of gold and touched a lot of people.”