Meet WissFiss, a Service Dog in Training at Canine Partners for Life

Meet WissFiss, a Service Dog in Training at Canine Partners for Life
Topics Community SpotlightWSFS Culture

WSFS first began working with Canine Partners for Life (CPL), a nonprofit organization based in Cochranville, Pa., in 2017. WSFS helped CPL with the renovation and expansion of the Marian S. Ware Program Services Center.

Over the years, the WSFS team of Rich Hannum, Vice President, Team Lead, Business Banking, Courtney Jayne, Vice President Portfolio Manager III, and Janine Scherr, Portfolio Administrator II has been working to help meet CPL’s evolving needs.

Rich, Courtney, and Janine also supported CPL’s mission through financial donations as well as taking an active role in CPL’s fundraising event by having an ATM truck onsite for their open house.

With a strong relationship in place, CPL turned to WSFS when it needed help in securing a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan in 2020.

Out of gratitude for the Bank’s ongoing support and partnership, CPL offered the opportunity to name a service puppy! After careful consideration, Rich and his team, with the help of Scott Baylis and Justin Dunn, chose the name WissFiss.

WissFiss is a male lab mix puppy training to become a service dog at CPL, an organization working to increase the independence and quality of life of individuals with physical, developmental and cognitive disabilities or who are in other situations of need.

Before officially becoming a service dog, WissFiss will go through a two-year training process. While he was still very young, WissFiss lived with a puppy home volunteer so he could learn and develop his basic behavioral and socialization skills.

He graduated from puppy home training on October 10, and now, for the next 6-8 months, he will live on campus with students at Lafayette College, where he will attend class and social events with the student.

Finally, he will return to CPL to receive his advanced training, where he will learn how to assist his new partner in their everyday routine, including turning on and off lights, picking up items that the partner may drop, getting items from the kitchen and even retrieving clothes from the dryer.

But most importantly, this is the time where his life saving abilities will be determined and honed for his new partner.

CPL trains its dogs to meet the specific needs of individuals and the environments in which they are living, seeking to establish a lifetime bond between service dogs and their owners, and providing a comprehensive program of follow-up training and support services to ensure each team’s success in achieving their goals.

A big thank you Rich, Courtney, and Janine for demonstrating WSFS’ mission and values, and to the CPL team for training WissFiss. We are so excited to support and follow WissFiss along his two-year training journey!

If you are interested in volunteering for Canine Partners for Life, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at Canine Partners for Life at [email protected] or (610) 869.4902 ext. 229. You can find out more about Canine Partners for Life at

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