NBC Today.com

February 10 2021

'Meant to be': Man finds loving home for senior rescue dog 3 days before dying

As Pawpaw’s former owner battled ALS, Bernie Knobbe and Tim Belavich committed to give the dog a loving forever home.

Pawpaw sits in his high chair, having just chowed down his dinner. Because the muscles in the dog’s esophagus don’t work properly, the special chair allows gravity to help food reach his stomach. But like a baby, he needs to burp before he can get down.

So his owners, Bernie Knobbe and Tim Belavich, do their best to keep the 16-year-old terrier mix entertained – telling stories and singing.

“How much is that Pawpaw in the window?” they sing. “The one with the waggly tail…”

The couple’s devotion to Pawpaw stems from their commitment to caring for any animal they adopt – and a promise to a dying man. …

People

February 9 2021

For Valentine's Day, Rachael Ray is Helping Older Adults Find the Perfect Senior Pet for Free

Rachael Ray Nutrish has teamed with Muttville to offer free senior pet adoptions to animal lovers over 50 for the month of February

Rachael Ray wants everyone to find their perfect match for Valentine’s Day.

Concerned about the isolation older adults have had to endure during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Rachael Ray Nutrish and Muttville — a senior dog rescue in San Francisco — have teamed up to help animal lovers over 50 find their perfect, furry valentine.

For the entire month of February, people over 50 can adopt a senior pet from Muttville for free. Thanks to the partnership between Muttville and Rachael Ray Nutris, Rachael Ray Nutrish will provide these older adopters with a year’s supply of free dog food and complimentary vet wellness checks. …

Rachael Ray Show

November 17 2020

Rachael Is Brought To Tears By 15-Year-Old Adopted Girl Who Helps Senior Dogs Get Adopted

We’ve been spotlighting inspiring real-life heroes in our “Thanks For Giving” series – and our latest guest is our youngest one yet! At 15 years old, Meena is helping dogs find their forever home just as she found hers – and her passion and dedication brought Rachael to tears.

Meena’s passion for dogs started when she was very young, Meena’s mom, Jaya, says.

“We adopted Meena and then we moved in with our parents who live in a very small apartment in Mumbai, and I had the task of keeping her entertained,” Jaya explains. “A dog had a litter of puppies in our apartment complex, so we would spend almost six to eight hours every day just hanging out with the puppies. And that’s when we found out that Meena had a passion for dogs.”

“I was adopted as a child at two,” Meena says, “and now I’m helping abandoned dogs get adopted. I donate all my earnings to a senior dog rescue shelter in San Francisco.” …

NBC Today.com

November 12 2020

Dog dumped at shelter with 3.2-lb. tumor bounces back after successful surgery

After veterinarians removed the giant mass – about a third of the dachshund’s body weight – Boo Boo found freedom to run and a happy forever home.

Before a dog named Boo Boo could be adopted, she had something she needed to get off her chest. Literally.

The 13-year-old dachshund was dumped at a municipal shelter in San Francisco with a mammary tumor that weighed 3.2 pounds – about a third of her body weight. She could barely walk.

That’s when Muttville Senior Dog Rescue stepped in. …

Wired

November 5 2020

I Fostered a One-Eyed Goblin. She Changed My Life in Lockdown

Radish is technically a chihuahua (but I’m not convinced). And after a year of misery, she was everything I needed.

I know 2020 has been a disaster, but personally, my 2019 was worse. First I lost my job, and then I went through a difficult breakup with my partner of several years. When I had to move as a result, I purged most of my belongings and immediately regretted it. And just as I thought I was starting to get my bearings, my dog–sweet little best friend–died.

Thus, by the time Covid set in, my confidence was the size of a pinto bean. The mandatory shelter-in-place orders were just a cruel, ironic slap in the face right when I was telling myself things could only get better. I felt like I was being sucked into a black hole. Advice like “Get some exercise!” and “Eat healthy!” came frequently and from well-meaning places. But I just couldn’t. The only thing that was bringing me joy was sour cream and cheddar Ruffles with white wine. I sorely needed a way out of this prolonged, self-indulgent mope.

I love dogs. After Billy passed away, I considered adopting again, but I wasn’t sure I was ready. One compromise seemed to be fostering. I could take care of a pooch temporarily and help it find a home without having to go through another painful loss. So a couple months into the year, I applied to be a foster with Muttville, a senior dog rescue in the Bay Area. Not an original idea, it turned out. Muttville received 700 adoption and foster applications within the first two weeks of the shutdown. Five months later, they were finally able to match me with a dog in need: an 11-pound, 12-year-old, one-eyed chihuahua named Radish. …

Marin Independent Journal

September 19 2020

Toothless chihuahua comforts patients at dentist office

When Cameron and Debra Garrett go to work at their dentist practice, Corte Madera Family Dentistry, their dog Kismet isn’t far behind.

The 13-year-old toothless, mild-mannered chihuahua the Novato couple adopted from San Francisco’s Muttville — where she was rescued as a stray — this summer works to comfort and destress patients that come through the doors, oftentimes sitting on their laps during cleanings and other procedures.

Cameron, a dentist, and Debra, a dental hygienist, saw how therapeutic having a dog in the office could be with their late senior dog Karma, that they also adopted from Muttville around 4½ years ago.

NBC Today.com

September 8 2020

Toothless senior dog offers comfort to people who hate going to the dentist

Kismet, a 13-year-old Chihuahua who was rescued as a stray, gets comfort and cuddles in return.

A toothless Chihuahua named Kismet is giving dental patients something to smile about.

Each day, the diminutive dog heads to Corte Madera Family Dentistry in the Bay Area of California with her owners, Dr. Cameron Garrett and his wife, Debra Garrett. Everyone in the family has a job: Dr. Garrett is a dentist, Debra Garrett is a dental hygienist and Kismet is a dental therapy dog, who is available to snuggle in the laps of patients during exams, cleanings and even root canals.

While a few clients are fearful of dogs — in which case, Kismet stays behind a gate — about 98% of patients choose to cuddle with Kismet because so many people are anxious about having dental work. …

NPR

August 4 2020

Teen Helps Older Dogs Find Forever Homes

Rachel Martin and Noel King, hosts of NPR’s Morning Edition, interview 14-year-old Meena Kumar, who has raised $14,000 for Muttville.

CNN

August 3 2020

An adopted 14-year-old girl is helping senior dogs find a forever home just like she did

A 14-year-old girl has raised $14,000 for senior dogs who have been left behind with the goal of helping them find a forever home like she did when she was adopted.

Meena Kumar at nine months old was found abandoned in a basket on a college campus in Pune, India. After spending a year in an orphanage, she was adopted by a couple in Mumbai and brought to San Jose, California.

In Mumbai, Meena would watch over a litter of puppies at her home. When she came to the United States, almost every weekend included a trip to the Humane Society or to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. …

Meena understood what it felt like to be left behind, and wanted to help the senior dogs find the loving homes they deserve, just like she did. The problem was, Meena had to be 17-years-old to volunteer at Muttville, and she was only 12.

She wanted to find a way to support Muttville and came up with an idea. She advertised on Nextdoor offering pet sitting and Pet Fairy Services was born. …

Meena plans to continue working with Muttville and hopes that more people will adopt older mutts from shelters during this pandemic.

“We need their love more than ever,” she says.

NBC Today.com

July 30 2020

Teen forsaken as a baby helps senior dogs find forever home – 'just like I did'

Meena Kumar has already raised $14,000 for Muttville Senior Dog Rescue through pet-sitting.

At 14 years old, Meena Kumar is already a strong believer in the importance of second chances.

When she was just 9 months old, she was left in a basket on a college campus in India, and subsequently lived in an orphanage for about a year. Then she was adopted by a family who lives in San Jose, California.

“My parents tell me the story of when they adopted me at (age) 2 and they brought me to my grandparents’ apartment in Mumbai,” she told TODAY. “My parents were worried about how to keep me amused in a small place. Thankfully, a dog had laid a litter of puppies, and I used to spend hours every day watching and playing with them.”

Meena’s love of animals continued to grow back home in Northern California. Her favorite activity was visiting the local Humane Society, and when she was 8 years old, the family adopted a mixed-breed dog named Bambie. Meena adores the “sweet” dog and has taught her many tricks, including how to give a hug.

“I just pat on my shoulder and she’ll come and actually like put her paws up and just stay there so I can hug her and stuff,” she said.

One day while walking Bambie, Meena met a neighbor, Dr. Kathy Stecco, who was walking her dog, George. Stecco has fostered many senior hospice dogs for Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that rescues and re-homes older dogs. Intrigued, Meena visited Muttville, where she developed a passion for helping senior dogs.

“I love visiting Muttville,” she said. “The dogs may be senior and old, but they’re so friendly and cute, which is why I want to help them. They’re the most gentle and loyal creatures.”

When Meena’s parents said no to adopting more dogs, the then 9-year-old found a different way to help: She started a pet-sitting business called Pet Fairy Services and donates her earnings to Muttville. . . .

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