CHARLESTON, W.Va — Gov. Jim Justice and First Lady Cathy Justice announced on Aug. 28 the next seven therapy dogs that will be placed in schools across West Virginia as a part of the First Lady’s Friends With Paws initiative.
The addition of the seven dogs to Friends With Paws will bring the total number of therapy dogs placed in West Virginia through the program to nineteen.
First announced in March 2022, the Friends With Paws program places certified therapy dogs in various Communities in Schools (CIS) schools across the state, providing companionship and comfort for students in need of a boost. The program is a partnership between the Governor’s Office, West Virginia Communities In Schools Nonprofit and the West Virginia Department of Education.
Therapy dogs are placed in schools within CIS counties where students are disproportionately affected by poverty, substance misuse, or other at-risk situations, and are in the greatest need of a support animal. The dogs serve as a healthy and friendly outlet for these students to address trauma and other social-emotional issues.
The seven new therapy dogs being placed this fall are:
• Ruby, a female golden retriever, will be placed at Greenbrier East High School in Greenbrier County.
• Malfoy, a male yellow Labrador, will be placed at Chapmanville Intermediate School in Logan County.
• Skye, a female brown labradoodle, will be placed at Berkeley Springs High School in Morgan County.
• Tora, a female yellow Labrador, will be placed at Elkins High School in Randolph County.
• Penny, a female yellow Labrador, will be placed at Pendleton County Middle-High School in Pendleton County.
• Meadow, a female yellow Labrador, will be placed at Washington Lands Elementary School in Marshall County.
• Nutter is a male chocolate Labrador. His school placement will be announced at a later date.
More information about Friends With Paws can be found in Communities In Schools: Friends With Paws, a documentary produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting: youtube.com/watch?v=sZ-6gV1-vL4.
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