Linda Stio, Volunteer Since 2019
Dedicated to Life-Changing Care for All
Linda has an innate drive to help others, evidenced by her 37 years working as a nurse. Her desire to nurture and protect does not stop with people, however. Linda is busy caring for the feral cats in her neighborhood and beyond — and changing their lives for the better.
Linda’s connection to North Shore Animal League America came by way of National Spokesperson, Volunteer, and Foster Parent Beth Stern. After adopting a cat through Beth’s program, Linda developed a deep appreciation for the rescue and foster work Beth was doing. Linda felt inspired to volunteer with Community Outreach at Animal League America, and also help the feral cats in her own community. “I don’t like to see anyone hungry,” says Linda. “Maybe it’s the Italian in me! I started feeding them in my yard and before I knew it, there was a whole colony of cats.” Presently, Linda has TNR’d 26 cats and of those, 10 have been adopted. She has now expanded her trapping to surrounding neighborhoods and has made it her mission to continue making a difference in the quality of life for all felines.
Most feral cats have had little to no contact with humans, and as a result many are fearful and cannot be adopted. Animal League America helped Linda learn more about providing care to these colonies. Over time, she became skilled in reading the behavior of individual cats. Says Linda,“ I realized not every cat wants a home but deserves care, food, shelter and most importantly, to be spayed or neutered.”
For the community cats who do come to Animal League America, Linda has been pivotal in helping them learn to trust. Says Sylvia Ottaka, Senior Director of Rescue and Community Outreach, “Each week Linda gives special needs cats her time, as well as her compassion and love. Because of Linda we have seen many of these cats move forward and become more social. With the work she does in her neighborhood, Linda touches the lives of so many cats who have been let down by people in the past. She is truly an angel!”
We are so grateful for Linda’s dedication and her efforts on behalf of felines both on our campus and out in the community. Thanks to incredible volunteers and advocates like Linda, Animal League America is able to protect the lives of even more animals. And Linda finds this work tremendously rewarding: “There is this unconditional love animals give you and the joy you derive from being there for them. I want to be the voice for these animals and be their advocate. If I am able to get friendly cats adopted, TNR ferals, and continue to provide them food and shelter, then I’ve done my job.”
April is Volunteer Appreciation Month
At North Shore Animal League America, we could not perform all of the hands-on work that we do without the help of our incredible team of dedicated volunteers!
If you’d like to learn more about the Volunteer Program and available opportunities visit animalleague.org/volunteer.