Cause & Effect: A New Leash on Life
It was in the late 1980s when Sherri Franklin, a longtime hair stylist, decided to start volunteering at animal shelters in San Francisco. Skittish at first, she worried about her potential reactions to the heart-wrenching sights of dogs in cages, in need of attention. Within months, though, she was hooked, soon putting in nearly 20 hours per week.
“I noticed that volunteers wouldn’t come in to walk the dogs on Christmas Day or the Fourth of July, so it became a cathartic way for me to deal with the holidays, which have never really been my thing anyway,” she says.
The hardest part of her experience was witnessing old dogs come into shelters happy and then slowly lose hope. “They would stop wagging their tails; dogs would get euthanized just because they were old,” she said. “That is what got me to go back every day.”
Compelled to help aging dogs, by the mid-‘90s Franklin started bringing them into her home, helping them get healthy and adopting them out to friends and some of her hairstyling clients. She did this for more than 10 years–putting up flyers at beaches and parks for senior dogs, building ramps in her home so they’d stay safe–all the while telling her community how much she’d love to one day launch a senior dog rescue.
In 2007, she decided to take the plunge and opened Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. Muttville rescued 27 dogs during its first year as a nonprofit and has only grown from there. The organization rescued 1,051 senior dogs in 2017 alone. …