|CHARLESTON, WV — Gov. Jim Justice and First Lady Cathy Justice announced today 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.
|“These therapy dogs will bring friendship, love, and support to their schools,” First Lady Justice said. “I look forward to welcoming each one and seeing the amazing work that they do for our students.”
“You know me, I’m very in tune with what a dog can bring to all of us,” Gov. Justice said. “Babydog has done it, and I know there are a bunch of new therapy dogs that will be doing good stuff, too. I am so excited to see how these dogs will positively impact students around our state. We are going to continue helping our students and communities by providing them with the resources they need to succeed.”
First announced in March 2022, the Friends With Paws program places certified therapy dogs in various CIS schools across the state, providing companionship and comfort for students in need of a boost.
The Friends With Paws Program is a partnership between the Governor’s Office, West Virginia Communities In Schools (CIS) 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 in Fall 2023 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.
|Schools that previously received therapy dogs through the Friends With Paws program include:Coal, a male Black Labrador, at Welch Elementary, McDowell CountyFoster, a male Golden Labradoodle, at Buckhannon Academy Elementary, Upshur CountyJasper, a female Yellow Labrador, at Lewis County High School, Lewis CountyRiver, a male Yellow Labrador, at Pineville Elementary School, Wyoming CountyShadow, a male Black Labrador, at Moorefield Elementary School, Hardy CountyJet, a male Yellow Labrador, at Spring Mills High School, Berkeley CountyKylo, a male Black Labrador, at Lenore PK-8 School, Mingo CountyWinnie, a female Apricot and White Labradoodle, at Wayne Elementary School, Wayne CountyKasha, a female Yellow Labrador, at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, Pocahontas CountyMarshal, a male Cream Labradoodle, at Hinton Area Elementary School, Summers CountyLouie, a male Yellow Labrador, at Bridgeview Elementary School, Kanawha CountyOakley, a male Apricot and White Labradoodle, at Oakvale Elementary School, Mercer CountyThroughout the fall, events will be held at each school to officially welcome the new therapy dogs. Additional details will be shared at a later date.