GRAFTON, OH (WOIO) - The program called “W.A.G.S.” is short for Working Animals Giving Service. W.A.G.S. helped honor the name of Susie Mettler today.
The program uses prison inmates at the Grafton Correctional Institution to train dogs that will go to children with disabilities, like the one Susie Mettler had. She died a paraplegic after a sledding accident. Tina Mettler gave one of the puppies to an inmate named Ryan Carter.
The puppy is named Susie, after Tina’s 17-year-old daughter who died on July 4th of this year, which was the same day the puppy was born. The puppy has a twin named Jennie, just like the Susie did.
Susie would have turned 18 on September 18th and its the first time Jennie will spend a birthday without her twin sister Susie.
"Turning 18 is a big moment in your life but I know she’s in a better place with no restriction of movement,” said Jennie.
The program not only helps prison inmates do something positive with the rest of their lives, but it also helps children with disabilities make the most of their lives. At the same time it remembers the life of Susie Mettler.
”It is such a great legacy for my daughter Susie,” Tina said.
The inmates will keep the dogs for up to 20 months before they will be transferred to their new owners, which will be children with disabilities.