FRANKLIN, W.Va. (WBOY) — A new fuzzy companion from the Friends With Paws program is coming to Pendleton County Middle/High School.

According to a release from the office of West Virginia First Lady Cathy Justice, the school greeted Penny the Yellow Labrador during a Monday assembly, giving its new school therapy dog a warm welcome.

“Penny will join our educational community as a compassionate resource to provide comfort and emotional support for our students, fostering a positive and nurturing environment,” Principal Tim Johnson said.

Penny is one of 17 other Friends With Paws therapy dogs located in schools across the state, which include:

  • Coal, a male Black Labrador, at Welch Elementary, McDowell County
  • Foster, a male Golden Labradoodle, at Buckhannon Academy Elementary, Upshur County
  • Jasper, a female Yellow Labrador, at Lewis County High School, Lewis County
  • River, a male Yellow Labrador, at Pineville Elementary School, Wyoming County
  • Shadow, a male Black Labrador, at Moorefield Elementary School, Hardy County
  • Jet, a male Yellow Labrador, at Spring Mills High School, Berkeley County
  • Kylo, a male Black Labrador, at Lenore PK-8 School, Mingo County
  • Winnie, a female Apricot and White Labradoodle, at Wayne Elementary School, Wayne County
  • Kasha, a female Yellow Labrador, at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, Pocahontas County
  • Marshal, a male Cream Labradoodle, at Hinton Area Elementary School, Summers County
  • Louie, a male Yellow Labrador, at Bridgeview Elementary School, Kanawha County
  • Oakley, a male Apricot and Cream Labradoodle, at Oakvale Elementary School, Mercer County
  • Ruby, a female Golden Retriever, at Greenbrier East High School, Greenbrier County.
  • Malfoy, a male Yellow Labrador, at Chapmanville Intermediate School, Logan County.
  • Tora, a female Yellow Labrador, at Elkins High School, Randolph County

“Therapy dogs are placed in schools within CIS (Communities In Schools) 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 release said.

More information about Friends With Paws can be found in the West Virginia Public Broadcasting produced documentary Communities In Schools: Friends With Paws.