Linda Gage, Northeast regional specialist

Linda Gagelindag@bestfriends.org

Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont

My journey with Best Friends began in March 2006 when I went to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. I worked with Best Friends rescuing animals stranded in the city, and I would bring them to a central location each evening where a Best Friends tractor trailer would meet us to carry the animals to safety in Tylertown, Mississippi. That was my “Aha!” moment. I’d found my passion and my new direction in life (as well as three new kitties, which I made part of my family). I continued to work with Best Friends in New Orleans through 2007, helping to care for cats from bad situations, like cats from an extreme hoarding situation in Pahrump, Nevada.

My husband and I moved to Kanab in the fall of 2007, where I oversaw the care of 300 cats who were brought to the Sanctuary from Pahrump. In 2008, I stepped into a new role as manager of The Learning Experience, overseeing the visitor and volunteers at the sanctuary. Then in the fall of 2009, we moved from Kanab to Vermont, where I started my new role as a Best Friends Network specialist. Our time in Kanab and at the Sanctuary was the first building block to where I am today. The knowledge I gained from the animals and people and the relationships we forged were beyond anything I’d experienced in my life.

I love working with the shelters, rescue groups and other non-profit groups in the network. They’re on the ground every day, day-in and day-out, saving lives and making a difference for the animals. Being there to brainstorm about a project, mentor grant writing, offering support and resources and so much more is wonderful. I love working with so many dedicated, caring people.

My husband and I share our home with six cats, three Nubian goats, and we foster cats and dogs when needed. In my free time, I love to hike, bike, walk with the goats in the woods and work on home projects.