Who We Are
From Our President
Research shows that magical things happen when a child interacts with a certified therapy dog. Anxiety level decreases, heartbeat slows, breathing becomes deeper and more relaxed, and fears are forgotten. When a child feels calm and secure, not only is learning possible, but physical and emotional healing are achieved.
Positively impacting thousands of children throughout our community, Roxy™ Therapy Dogs’ programs provide a unique, irreplaceable, dependable support system for children in a number of situations. These programs would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of our certified pet therapy dog teams, and the support of our generous community.
Coming in all shapes, sizes, colors and breeds, Roxy Therapy Dogs are as diverse as they are unique. What they all have in common though, is their love of children, and their undeniable ability to comfort and connect with them.
Whether you are interested in volunteering, donating, or learning more about Roxy Therapy Dogs, our website is full of helpful information and meaningful photos. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any of our Directors, listed below.
Volunteer Program Directors
Phyllis Mikolaj, Director of Schools
Melissa D’Amato, Director of Courthouse Companionship Program
Joyce Rivas, Director of Roxy Pediatric Comfort Program at Doylestown Health
Tracey Vazquez, Director of Roxy Pediatric Comfort Program at Pedia Manor
Sharon Fleck, Director of Secondary School Stress Relief Program
Jill Fein, Director of Advancement
Jennifer Ashenfelter, Director of Marketing
Catherine Refice, Director of Volunteers
Maddi Fleck, Associate Director of Volunteers
as of 4/11/19
Steve Carver (Zak)
Mary Helen Hughes
Hollie B. John
Mary Alice Loeffler
Liza Fisher Norman
Suzanne Zak (Carver)
Roxy Therapy Dogs’ formation was the result of witnessing the positive effects that therapy dogs have on Alzheimer’s patients. During a visit with her beloved grandmother, Roxy Therapy Dogs founder, Diane Smith, saw how a resident therapy dog was able to connect with her grandmother and bring her out of her shell and into the present in a way Diane had not seen in a very long time.
It was those special moments that inspired her to adopt Roxy, a gentle Boykin Spaniel, and to start training in 2004 as an emotional therapy dog team.
Roxy’s extreme love of children prompted her to offer therapy dog visits at her son’s elementary school in the Central Bucks School District in 2005, encouraging children with reading challenges to read aloud to her. We got our official name when their learning support students surprised Diane and Roxy with a banner proclaiming, “Reading Rocks with Roxy Reading!” And the rest, as they say, is history!
Board of Directors
Mental Health Professional for Family Based Services for Central Behavioral Health
Guidance Coordinator, Central Bucks High School West
Attorney, Antheil, Maslow and MacMinn, LLP
Attorney, Hill Wallack
Director of Programs and Services at Bucks County Intermediate Unit
Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Biotechnology and Conservation, Delaware Valley University
Founder and President of InsideOut Insights
Financial Planner, Marshall Financial Group
Certified Dog Trainer/Owner, Training Tails Dog Training
Business Strategy Professional
Hollie B. John
Attorney, Jacobson & John, LLP
Clinical Psychotherapist, Owner, Stacee Paley and Associates Counseling