Local car wash to raise money for Whitmer High School therapy dog program

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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - As part of their grand opening week, Meyers Auto Wash wants to give back to the community.

From March 9th through 15th, all car washes are free at their new location on Laskey and Tremainsville -- but giveaways aren't their only goal here.

Just up the road at Whitmer High School, they're looking to add a therapy dog to their staff, and Meyers is accepting donations for the cause.

The Washington Local School District already has two therapy dogs for elementary children, but none for high schoolers. Katie Peters, an English teacher at Whitmer, says there's a steep starting price.

"Therapy dogs generally run between $5000 and $8000 just upon initial purchase," she says, "and that doesn't include vet bills or their everyday care and upkeep."

Animal-assisted therapy has been a proven tool to help provide comfort, reduce loneliness and lower blood pressure, among other benefits.

"Even if a student engages with a therapy dog at school for fewer than five minutes, it increases their performance throughout the school day almost 50 percent," Peters added.

The "Paws for our Panthers" donation drive runs tomorrow through Friday, March 15th.