CHAPMANVILLE, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia’s “Friends with Paws” program continues to expand and change lives throughout the Mountain State.

First Lady Cathy Justice introduced a therapy dog to the students at Chapmanville Intermediate School today, Tuesday, Sept. 26. The yellow lab’s name is “Malfoy.”

“All of our students know that they have a friend in us, and they also have a friend in their dog companion, Malfoy. I hope that he brings excitement to their day and they have something to look forward to coming to school,” said Chapmanville Intermediate School Principal Erica Keck.

Malfoy is the 14th therapy dog to be placed in a school as part of the Friends with Paws initiative. The furry friends allow students to have a healthy outlet to express their emotions and feel comfort.

“I think everyone relates to animals,” said Justice. “I think it’s a good fluffy, feeling to have a dog or a cat. The dog seem to be the best fit for everyone because they are a little bit sturdier and they can handle a lot more hard love.”

The therapy dogs are intentionally placed in schools within counties that are disproportionately affected by issues such as poverty and substance abuse.

The goal is for each county to eventually have at least on therapy dog.