Q&A with Volunteer Linda Bischof
How long have you been part of Sacramento Shelters Pets Alive and what inspired you to be part of the team?
I have been with SSPA for almost five years now. I’ve always had a passion for dogs and for helping them. Luckily, I was in a position where I didn’t have to work anymore, so I could go work with the dogs.
What’s the best thing about being a member of the SSPA team?
Being a part of this cutting-edge, magnificent team led by Delyse is priceless. I have learned so much about myself, about dogs, about training. Probably the most amazing thing is I’ve learned that if you just give dogs a chance to figure out what they need, and - when appropriate - allow other dogs to help them, they become their best selves. Also we are all a team, no egos - just working together for the dogs.
What moment during your time with SSPA is most memorable for you?
Two times come to mind as some of the most memorable.
First: There was a little girl, a gray pittie. She was so scared of everything. She wouldn’t come to the front of her kennel; she wouldn’t come near anybody. The SSPA team worked daily, sitting by her kennel and giving her treats. After a few weeks, she started taking treats from our hands. A few weeks later, we could get her out of the kennel. We started walking her a bit, but it was a long, slow process. At any other shelter, without SSPA's dedication, I don’t think she would’ve made it out. But her success story came months later when she was adopted into a wonderful home!
The second story is bittersweet. We had a dog come in who was very old and in horrible shape. During her time with us, a friend and I would go in every time we were in the shelter to sit with her, pet her or feed her. She loved to cuddle up with you and just lean into you. I loved that girl so much, and am relieved that in the end, she knew she mattered, received a lot of love and that she will never be forgotten.
What do you hope to help SSPA accomplish in the future?
I would love to see us get to a 98% live release rate. We have made it to mid-90%, which in itself is remarkable. But we can do even better together and miracles happen at SSPA. I would love for the community to continue stepping up on Dog Days Out. Also, continuing to see the community help find strays' homes, which has been successful during the pandemic.
And finally, what is your favorite thing about your pets?
I have one dog, Bear, and he can read my ups and downs like no other. He’s loveable and fun. But I also consider the pups at the shelter “mine.” I love them, care about them and try to help them be the best they can be. I adore the pups with a silly streak in them!