CHAMPION - "Sit." With one word, Bonnie was at Justin Goist's command at the Fairhaven Workshop on Friday morning.
Bonnie, Wolfgang and Savannah came with tails wagging to the Champion facility as a special treat for the workers who raised about $60 in pennies over the last month and who donated several boxes of supplies to the Trumbull County Dog Warden's prison dog training program.
"I'm eager to help anybody who loves dogs," said Goist, a Fairhaven worker. "I'm a dog lover myself."
Tribune Chronicle photos / Margaret Thompson
Cindy Bugch of Fairhaven Workshop gives a command to Savannah on Friday morning.
With that, he pulled out the last two pennies from his wallet to help pay for more supplies for the dogs that are being trained by inmates at the Trumbull Correctional Institution.
Cathy Jones, workshop specialist, said Fairhaven has done fundraising for the Dog Warden before, but for this "Pennies for Paws" initiative decided to celebrate by bringing a few dogs to the facility.
"We thought for Christmas we'd have the dogs come in," she said.
Dog Warden Gwen Logan brought her personal dogs to Fairhaven for the workers to enjoy because she said she knows they are well trained and used to working with people.
Logan said the supplies donated by the workers - mostly treats, food and blankets - will help to feed the prison dogs and keep them warm. The dogs go through an eight- to ten-week training program to learn basic obedience skills and become acquainted with people and other dogs before they are passed off to their adoptive homes.
"The community funds us through levies so it's our way of giving back through fundraising," Brian Englemore, workshop director, said. "They love giving back and they love the interaction with the pets."
Scratches behind the ears and pats on the back put smiles on the faces of the dogs and the workers who were eager to give them.