Power of Our People
Giants in Their Community
Donna Stottlemyer of Farmers EC helps bring free pet therapy services to people in Rockwall and Royse City

Paxdin Rees reads to Odin at the Rockwall County Library.
IMAGE: Courtesy Donna Stottlemyer

Donna Stottlemyer has always had a soft spot for animals. But the longtime Farmers Electric Cooperative employee’s goodwill extends to humans, too. Since 2015, she has led the Rockwall/Royse City chapter of Love on a Leash, a nonprofit that brings free pet therapy services to people.

Stottlemyer coordinates visits to hospice centers and assisted living facilities and, along with other volunteers, deploys the organization’s 16 trained, certified canines to lift moods and soothe souls. One hospice patient who often experienced agitation would calm as soon as the therapy team entered her room. “She would chat with us, and she had a beautiful smile...and she would pet the dog,” Stottlemyer said.

Power of Our People

Power of Our People recognizes co-op members who improve their community’s quality of life. Read more about this project and see other winners here.


To nominate a person who is making a difference in your community, email details to people@texascooppower.com.

Odin, Stottlemyer’s 175-pound Irish wolfhound, has brightened spirits at a children’s bereavement program in Rockwall, northeast of Dallas, and encourages a love of books as a reading education assistance dog at local libraries. Odin and other dogs serve as nonjudgmental listeners for children to read to, building their confidence and skills.

Odin listens patiently and accepts hugs with equal aplomb, according to Stottlemyer, who described him as a “sweet and gentle giant.”

His handler has a heart for service to match. Read more online at loveonaleash.org.

TAGS: Concern for Community, People, Power of Our People

Are you a co-op member?

Don't ask again