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* Indicates that they are currently serving on the Board of Directors

ABOUT Josephine DeAngelis – President*

Josephine and her Bulldog Lucy and Tessa are advocates for reading appreciation in our community and the value and freedom it holds. They have quite the following at local libraries.

They hope to increase the joy of reading by engaging children to read to Lucy, Tessa and our Angel Readers.

Lucy has over 325 visits and her stories can be found on Facebook and YouTube at Lucy’s Library.

The newest addition to her family is her rescue Tessa, an American bulldog mix. Tessa has become a therapy dog as well in 2021 and is quite the happy pup.

Josephine is retired from working in cardiac safety for clinical trials where she performed critical analysis and presented to sites worldwide. She has instructed dance classes to children for 11 years both competitive and for enjoyment. When not working, she, Lucy and Tessa can be found in her garden with her husband Jerry.

For the past 8 years, Josephine and her dogs attend rally classes weekly at the Canine Academy.

As President her main goal is to bring members together so that we can continue to bring the benefits of comfort and joy to our community. 

As a CGC evaluator and therapy evaluator for Angel on a Leash she values the importance of on going training for handlers and their champions and provides mentorship to all members.

ABOUT Michelle Sparling - VP and acting Secretary*

Michelle is the Vice President of AOAL.  Currently Michelle is also filling the role of secretary as we search for a permanent secretary.

Michelle searched for a dog for many years.  Being allergic to most fur babies, she was thrilled to discover she was not allergic to the Portuguese Water Dog breed and welcomed Maverick to the family.  Being an active dog, Michelle knew Maverick needed a job to do and pursued therapy work.  Maverick became a therapy dog in September, 2019 and has been involved in children’s reading programs.  Michelle is eager for the pair to explore more therapy work opportunities.  In Maverick’s spare time, he enjoys visiting with all of his neighbors both human and dogs alike, going for long walks, jumping in big piles of leaves, romping through creeks and walking in the snow.

Michelle works for Networks for Training and Development, Inc., a training and consulting non-profit with strong ties to the disability community.

ABOUT Ellen Idelson - Treasurer*

Ellen is an accountant by trade.  She will be retiring in April from the Philadelphia ophthalmology firm where she has been working for the last 18 years.

Ellen has been an active volunteer for a number of organizations including the New Jersey based ARF (Animal Rescue Force) and docent for Graeme Park, the only existing provisional governor's mansion in Pennsylvania.

Ellen has a connection to AOAL through her husband Ira, the AOAL website administrator, and their dog, Thor. It was Ellen's urging that prompted Ira to get Thor certified for therapy work. Ellen is a Champion Support member.

We welcome Ellen to AOAL

ABOUT Diane Mell– Membership  Coordinator*

Diane has a background in kinesiology and athletic training. For the last 30 years, Diane has been involved in the figure skating world as a coach, instructor and trainer. She has worked with USFS and Team USA through the years.

Diane has been an active member in AOAL since 2021. Diane and her energetic golden retiever, Remy enjoy visiting various assisted living facilities, schools, hospitals and the New Castle DE Air National Guard base. Remy’s favorite visits are those that include children. Little humans are his absolute favorite.

When Diane isn’t on the ice or volunteering for AOAL, she and her husband, Jason are busy running marathons and ½ marathons in every state in the USA.;

ABOUT Debbie Crosley  – Event Coordinator*

Debbie has been a member with AOAL since the start of our chapter. Her husband Tom is a Champion support member. They have been working together at many AOAL events.

She has recently retired from NJM Insurance Group and now can focus on her favorite things, her 4 dogs,volunteering among a lot of other interests. 

With her therapy dogs Killian and Falcor they had been seen in parades, nursing homes, colleges, hospitals and community events. She is now in training with her new candidate Reina for therapy dog as well as her puppy Great Dane Zelda. They have been going for walks and visiting local stores for socialization. 

As an event coordinator she is looking forward to working together with the board bringing more activities for all our members to participate in and show off to the community the work our therapy dogs do. 


ABOUT Shirley Miyahara – Liaison*

We are very excited to have Shirley on the AOAL board. AOAL members will all benefit from her positive, cheerful attitude. Her expertise with training and knowledge with the AKC makes her the perfect fit to round out our board.

Shirley has been training dogs personally for over 25 years. She has competed in the AKC obedience ring and in the sport of Schutzhund with her dogs. She has earned titles in both rings and has competed with her dog Scout in Agility. Scout was also a therapy dog. Shirley has been working at The Canine Academy since 2000. She is a member of APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers). She is also certified as a Pet Dog Trainer by the CCPDT (Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers). Shirley is certified in Canine CPR by the Red Cross and is an American Kennel Club CGC (Canine Good Citizen) Evaluator as well as an evaluator for AOAL therapy dog testing. Shirley currently is a Champion Support Member and is looking to bring one of her dogs into the therapy field again.

ABOUT Ira Idelson – Website Manager

 Ira is a retired software engineer.  He now spends his time cycling (he puts more miles on his bicycle than on his car), helping AOAL with committees and website management,  and doing jigsaw puzzles..

 Thor was rescued at 1 year of age and noting his calm demeanor,  Ira decided to get Thor certified as a therapy dog.  Thor was certified in October 2021 and has been a member of AOAL since then.  Currently Thor and Ira spend about 4 hours a week visiting Jefferson Torresdale hospital, where his weekly visits provide comfort and stress relief for staff, patients and visitors alike.

 Ira currently has three other rescue dogs as well; Chloe a 15 year old Cockapoo, Mo, a12 year old Miniature Poodle and Pretzel, a 5 year old Standard Poodle.



 * Denotes Board Member

Mission Statement

 Angel on a LeashTM, Inc. (AOAL), is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides volunteer therapy dog handler teams (Champions) to visit with anyone that would benefit from the human-canine bond in enhancing human health and quality of life. All handler-dog teams (Champions) are tested, certified, and registered by AOAL.  Additionally, during scheduled visits, our Champion teams are insured by AOAL.  

Angel on a LeashTM

a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization     

13 Summit Square   #136   

Langhorne, PA 19047 


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