Sharon Fleck confesses to loving animals for “as long as I can remember.” The way the animal-human bond enriched her life led her to her desire to do the same for others. Jessica Boyington trotted through her story for 6abc.
Fleck grew up in a home with five cats and one dog. This environment, she says formed her outlook into adulthood. She’s worked with animal rescue organizations, helped with animal welfare efforts, and built shelters.
Now, she’s president of Roxy Therapy Dogs in Danboro, Plumstead Township, a volunteer-based organization that supplies canine support for children.
Her role feels natural.
“It was kind of like my two favorite things … a nonprofit that involved dogs. So, it was the perfect fit for me, and I’ve just been in heaven ever since,” she said.
Fleck sends canine-owner teams into classrooms, healthcare facilities, high schools, classes for autistic students, and even courtroom hearings.
“All those mood hormones are affected in a positive way when we interact with dogs, which is why they’re so helpful for children who are feeling anxious,” she said.
Roxy Therapy Dogs currently has 70 teams comprising an owner, a handler, and his or her dog. The teams make up to 140 therapeutic visits per week.
More on Fleck and her canine therapy work is at 6abc.