Author Profile: Denise Fleck


Denise Fleck

DENISE FLECK is an award-winning author, animal care instructor and radio show host. She was named one of Pet Age Magazine’s “Women of Influence” for 2018, a “Most Inspiring Story” in 2017 by Voyage Atlanta Magazine and has been nominated for 6 Dog Writers Awards to be announced in early 2019. As The Pet Safety Crusader™, a trademark of her company, Sunny-dog Ink, Denise has personally taught close to 20,000 animal lovers life-saving skills and has appeared on Animal Planet’s Groomer Has It and Pit Boss, A&E’s Kirstie Alley’s Big Life, CBS-TV’s The Doctors, CNN Headline News, PBS-TV’s Lassie’s Pet Vet, K9Corner and had made more than 50 appearances on the KTLA Morning News in Los Angeles, as well as on radio and in magazines.

Denise is honored to be the President of The Grey Muzzle Organization whose mission is that no old dog ever dies alone or afraid, and with her team, she is working to make as many senior dogs later years as golden as possible. Caring for senior dogs is truly her soft spot, and it is a topic she has authored books on and created an instructional webinar. Denise also serves on the Board of the Emma Zen Foundation which provides pet oxygen masks to First Responders and Thankful Paws, which educates shelters and communities on creating pet food banks.

Fleck created the Pet Safety Crusader™ to encourage super heroes of all ages to “Be the one who makes the difference in the life of an animal!” To give it wings (or a cape) she emBARKed on a new adventure…hosting Pet Safety Crusader Radio, a weekly talk and informational program that received a Cat Writers Muse Award. In addition to her two Muse Awards, in 2018, Fleck won the SHOJAI MENTOR AWARD, in honor of CWA co-founder and Past President Amy D. Shojai. This person must be one who promotes communal support, networking and mutual respect between colleagues. Beth Stultz, Vice-President of Marketing & Operations for Pet Sitters International, nominated Fleck for this award remarking, “While reading the description of the Shojai Mentor Award, which recognizes a CWA member who “exemplifies the highest ideals of the CWA vision” and has “offered guidance, encouraging counsel, support, or other help that has had a direct and positive influence on another’s writing/publishing success,” one particular person immediately came to mind. Her influence on me and the pet industry at large is inarguable. Her impact on my writing and the pet publishing world in general is not surprising given her unwavering commitment to educating pet parents, pet professionals and others about pet-care and pet-health issues through her writing…Her full-time commitment to improving the lives of cats (and other pets) makes her a worthy role model, but her unhesitating desire to help me (and anyone in the pet industry) makes her a mentor in the truest sense.”

THE SLEEPYPOD® TRAVELER AWARD, was awarded to Fleck in 2018 for her book, The Pet Safety Crusader’s My Pet & Me Guide to Disaster PAWparedness. “By preparing for the worse, we just might prevent the worst from happening,” Fleck explains, “so that’s why I’ve designed the emergency plan templates and spelled out my Ready, React, Recover steps for everything from hurricanes & tornadoes, to blizzards, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. I want to be sure the four-legged, feathered, finned and scaled family members are taking care of as well as the two-legged humans who love them!” The winner of this award must take a positive approach to inform and educate the readership about feline safety issues such as safety in the home, preparedness and training for safety purposes, and especially safe travel with cats. This book fits the bill and one of the judges wrote, “EVERY pet owner should read this book!”

Denise developed the curriculum for her Pet First-Aid & CPCR (Cardio Pulmonary Cerebral Resuscitation) classes after training with dozens of schools and organizations, practicing, attending seminars and practicing some more. Denise also created the curriculum and for six years taught a 20-week course in Animal Care through the Burbank Unified School District for high school juniors and seniors at the Burbank Animal Shelter. “As the proud instructor, I hope one of my students will cure a debilitating canine disease or end animal homelessness, but if each student adopts a shelter pet (particularly a Senior), shares with friends the need for spay/neuter or never harms or judges a dog by his breed alone, I’ll still wag my tail,” she smiles.

Fleck’s more than a dozen books include her most comprehensive works, The Pet Safety Bible, The Dog Safety Bible and The Cat Safety Bible (along with her 6-hour Pet First-Aid & CPCR video course); The Pet Safety Crusader’s My Pet & Me Guide to Pet Disaster PAWparedness; The Autumn & Winter of Your Pet: Make Those Senior Years Golden; Quickfind Books’ Dog First Aid & CPR, Cat First Aid & CPR, How to Take Care of Your Dog or Puppy and How to Take Care of Your Cat or Kitten; Rescue Critters Pet First Aid for Kids and her award-winning Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover which received the Dog Writers Association of America’s Maxwell Medallion for Best Children’s Book and honors in the London Book Festival. The story teaches kids and reminds adults not to judge and animal, person, anything, by its age, fur color or breed. The first sequel, Start Off on the Right Paw, continues the “do not judge” message and stresses the importance of proper dog-to-dog introductions. Additionally, her story “Finding the Way Home,” was published September 2018 in an anthology by Baker Publishing entitled, Second Chance Dogs. Denise has also won two other Maxwell Medallions as well as Volunteer of the Year from the Burbank Police Department for her work at the Animal Shelter and has twice been a finalist as the Pet Industry’s Woman of the Year.

Denise became interested in learning animal life-saving skills when her own Yellow Labrador (affectionately known as “The Sunny-dog”) ruptured discs in her spine and became immobile. This story has a happy ending however, with Sunny bouncing back from surgery and other difficulties to remain the happy and loyal refrigerator-opening companion of Denise and her husband. “Sunny’s misfortune compelled me to learn whatever I could should I again face a difficult situation with a dog or other animal,” explains Ms. Fleck. “Through volunteering at rescues and disaster training, I’ve encountered situations that continue to test, and hopefully improve, my skills, and each successive canine addition to the family has carved another pathway for me…writing, creating product and teaching children to respect animals.”

Prior to “going to the dogs,” during her 10 years at Paramount Pictures, Fleck worked on publicity campaigns, coordinated press junkets and supervised film premieres for some of the most successful projects in motion picture history, including GHOST, THE UNTOUCHABLES, the INDIANA JONES, NAKED GUN and BEVERLY HILLS COP sequels, CLUELESS and THE GODFATHER III. She led Paramount to win its first ever Maxwell Weinberg Showmanship Award for 1994’s “Outstanding Publicity Campaign” for FORREST GUMP and has handled press for Tom Hanks, Sally Field, Denzel Washington, Chris Farley, David Spade, Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze, Kevin Costner, Richard Gere, Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Alicia Silverstone, Paul Hogan, Jack Nicholson and Lassie among others. Prior to being a studio publicist, Denise worked in programming for WOFL-TV35 in Orlando, Florida and then at The American Center of Films for Children in Los Angeles. She attended the University of Southern California’s Film School and graduated Summa Cum Laude in Communications from Seminole Community College.

Denise recently relocated from sunny Los Angeles to OTP (that’s “Outside the Perimeter”) west of Atlanta with her husband Paul and their rescued canine pal, Haiku. She has had the privilege of being Dog Mom to eleven and Cat Mom to one over the years. Learn more at


Denise Fleck has personally taught close to 20,000 animal lovers (pet parents, trainers, vet techs, groomers, dog day care providers, cat hotel operators, rescue volunteers, etc.) animal life-saving skills
Holds California Career Technical Teaching Credential in Animal Care
Assisted U.S. Homeland Security with development of their first aid training program for K9 Handlers
Named “Woman of Influence” (2018) by Pet Age Magazine and “Most Inspiring Story” (2017) by Voyage Atlanta Magazine.
Certified in CPR: Basic & Advanced Life Support by the American College of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care, Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine.
Before developing her own curriculum, trained with the Humane Society of the United States, Animal Humane Association, American Safety & Health Institute, Red Cross, e-training for dogs, Business & Industry Council for Emergency Planning and Preparedness, Noah’s Wish and FEMA.
Author of 12+ Animal Care Books – View all at
Authored hundreds of articles for a variety of animal publications and blogs
Authored Pet First Aid portion of Animal Behavior College’s Obedience Training, Grooming and Veterinary Technician Textbooks
90+ Television & Radio appearances include: CBS-TV’s The Doctors, Animal Planet’s Pit Boss, Groomer Has It, CNN Headline News, PBS-TV’s Lassie’s Pet Vet, Kirstie Alley’s Big Life and KTLA-TV 5 L.A.
Host of PET SAFETY CRUSADER RADIO on BBS Radio and All Paws Pet Talk Syndicate.
Twice Finalist, Pet Industry’s Woman of the Year
Dog Writers Association of America Member & 3X Maxwell Medallion Award Winner and 6 nominations to be announced early 2019
Cat Writers Association Member & 2X Muse Award Winner
Winner of the Amy Shojai Mentor Award (2018), Cat Writers Association
Winner of the Sleepypod® Traveler Award (2018) in pet safety for The Pet Safety Crusader’s My Pet & Me Guide to Disaster PAWparedness
Winner of Best Children’s Book of the Year (2014), Dog Writers Association for Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover
Southern California Animal Response Team Member (2009-2017)
Past President, Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter (2011-2012)
Volunteer of the Year Burbank, CA Police Department (2011)
Emma Zen Foundation Board Member (Pet Oxygen Masks)
The Grey Muzzle Organization, President (Senior Dogs)
Thankful Paws Board Member (Pet Food Banks)
Featured Conference Speaker for Blog Paws, Cat Writers Association, Pet Sitters International, Women in the Pet Industry Network and others.



Browse Denise's latest articles on a variaty of anumal-related topics.


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