BUCKHANNON, W.Va. (WBOY) – Buckhannon Academy Elementary School (BAES) has had its therapy dog, Foster, for six months. In April 2022, he was the second therapy dog placed in a West Virginia school through the Friends with Paws program.

Foster can interact with up to 400 students in one day. He has his own spot at the entrance of the school to greet kids as they come in. Foster makes special visits to certain students in the mornings to help them start their day off right. Officials said everyone feels like they have a dog because Foster belongs to everyone.

“You know, Foster doesn’t tell secrets, a lot of times we have students who aren’t terribly trusting of adults until we build that relationship, but you know, they’re perfectly content to talk to him, and he doesn’t ever tell anybody’s business, so he’s just really helpful in a lot of ways and we’re very lucky to have him,” said Krista Sappey, Communities in Schools facilitator at Buckhannon Academy Elementary School.

Foster’s presence at the school is supported by the community. BAES has received donations for his care, and his food is paid for, along with his veterinary needs.