Senate District 6 Unsung Hero
Volunteer for the Sacramento Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA)
Over the 16 years that Alexandra has fostered dogs for the SSPCA, she has opened her heart and her home and has helped to save the lives of hundreds of dogs. By giving so much of herself to dogs that have been mistreated or abused, she is working to foster a loving and compassionate community for animals and people alike.
For volunteer opportunities at the SPCA, please visit: www.sspca.org/volunteer-program.
Tell us a little about yourself:
I was born in Canada and then moved to Fresno when I was two years old. When I was 16 my family moved to Castro Valley and then a year later we made our way to Sacramento and I have lived here ever since. I worked at UC Davis Undergraduate Admissions for almost 30 years and retired 7 years ago. I have a wonderful son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. I split my time between watching my grandkids two days a week, volunteering at SSPCA and Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue.
How are you making a difference in your community?
I love all animals but especially dogs. When I found my way to the SSPCA I was greeted by the most welcoming staff and volunteers, and I quickly realized that they welcomed my help. I was trained to do Behavior Testing on dogs to make sure they can go on the adoption floor. I have been allowed to go out to various shelters and bring dogs back to SSPCA to be adopted and I foster dogs......from mamas' and puppies, dogs that are very shy and need a safe place to spend time, sick dogs that need to re-coop. I am also a hospice foster mom for Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue. Also, in the past few years I have made presentations to children about kindness to animals.
What inspires your community efforts?
It's easy to say "I just can't do that or how do you do that" but the feeling I get when I see a dog come to SSPCA because I brought it in from an outlying shelter and it gets adopted, or help the staff shave a dog that is covered in matts and for the first time watch it roll around in the grass and know the dog can feel it on their skin or hold a dog in my arms that was terribly mistreated and watch them relax makes my heart happy. I will admit that there have been tears but the smiles make it all worthwhile.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am most proud of fostering dogs. I have been fostering dogs for over 16 years. Most fosters are with me for about 2 months (moms and new pups) and the hospice fosters can sometimes be with me for a year or two. I will admit that each time a foster leaves or goes over "Rainbow Bridge" I cry but realize that I helped them with their journey and they just add so much to my life.
What have you struggled most with in your life?
I have a hard time remembering that I can only help "one animal at a time". I get emails, internet and mail telling the worst stories about cruelty to all breeds of animals it is overwhelming and helping just one doesn't seem like much of a contribution.
If there is one problem in our community that you wish you could fix, what would it be?
I would like to see stronger legislation with severe punishment for people who abuse animals. Some of the cases of animal abuse that I have seen come into the shelter would tear at your heart and I ask the question, "how can people must be terrible to inflict so much pain on a innocent animal". I would also like to see more information given to children, in schools, talking about kindness to animals and each other.
How do you decompress?
I enjoy spending time with family or friends and laughing and when I have time going to the ocean and just breathing in the air.