Derry Township no-kill shelter fundraiser to spotlight dogs' service for therapy
Love from animals can help ease human stress — a connection a Greensburg man realized two years ago.
Ed DeLancey began Healing Hearts Animal Therapy when he saw that care radiate from his American bulldog, Oscar.
“Something as simple as an animal can help you reach through the darkness and make you feel better,” DeLancey said.
He will be the speaker at this year's “Love Is In The Air” fundraiser to benefit Action for Animals, a Derry Township nonprofit no-kill shelter.
Event co-chairwoman Laura Guskiewicz said this will be the first time that dogs' service for therapy is featured in the eight years the organization has been holding the fundraiser, also led by co-chairwoman Terry Zorch.
“I think a lot of people don't realize the capabilities that animals have in providing service to people who need them,” she said. “Even petting a dog can bring people comfort.”
Anyone who has ever owned a dog understands the therapeutic benefits of pets, Guskiewicz said.
“The best part of my day is when I come home from work and (my dog's) there waiting for me at the basement door, wagging her tail,” she said. “They just provide that unconditional love.”
DeLancey will give a demonstration with Oscar included in his lecture.
Healing Hearts Animal Therapy has about 10 volunteers — each with their own trained dogs — who visit hospitals, nursing homes and schools.
The dogs are able to work with people who have physical as well as mental health conditions because of their heightened sensory perception, DeLancey said.
“The dogs, they're not there to judge, to make you feel inferior,” he said. “They just have that way of reaching through. ... It's a feeling I'm glad to give to other people,” DeLancey said.
He hopes to grow the therapy business and familiarize more people with it and service dogs in general.
Appearing with Oscar at local events and places like Fort Ligonier Days and The Arc of Westmoreland, DeLancey also trains service dogs.
“As long as I can help everybody that I can, I think it's all going to work out,” he said.
Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.