March 27 2020

How to Help Local Animal Shelters During California's Shelter-in-Place Order

Earlier this month, as Bay Area public health officials encouraged social distancing and a statewide shelter-in-place order loomed, animal shelters in the Bay Area knew they had to act fast.

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue — a San Francisco-based rescue organization for, you guessed it, senior pups — had more than 80 dogs that needed to be relocated as soon as possible. With the help of its volunteer network, the organization was able to move all of the dogs to foster families and, since then, 20 have been adopted.

“Through many, many conference calls and a lot of back and forth, we decided that we would continue adopting our dogs and start working on some stringent safety protocols to make that happen,” said Sherri Franklin, founder and CEO of Muttville. …

Considered an “essential” business under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statewide shelter-in-place order, animal shelters are allowed to stay open. Shelters across the state have had to make the decision whether to continue offering adoptions, and then find creative ways to do so while limiting human contact.

Many shelters are focusing on transferring animals into foster homes — where they stay temporarily until someone adopts them — and have suspended adoptions altogether. Here is a list of shelters still offering adoptions, and other ways you can help support rescue organizations:

  • Consider Adopting
  • Foster
  • If you have pets, make a plan.
  • Donate

CNN Heroes

March 27 2020

Help your local shelter while in quarantine

Sherri Franklin – Muttville’s founder and CEO, and a CNN Hero – encourages people to “Go to your local shelter and foster or adopt a dog. … It will make you feel good and you will also be saving a life.”

SF Gate

March 24 2020

Many SF animal adoption centers have shut down due to coronavirus. They need your help.

If you don’t already have a pet to keep you company while you’re sheltering in place, you’re probably wishing you did right now. Here’s the good news: Now is the perfect time to let a dog or cat into your life, and animal shelters need your help. …

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue dogs are great work-from-home companions. Click through the gallery [of 28 images] to see dogs currently up for adoption.

The Mercury News

March 23 2020

Bay Area pets, rescue groups suffering from coronavirus shutdowns

The threat of coronavirus has forced rescue groups to curtail activities, leaving them short of money and pets without forever homes.

This is an extraordinary time. Businesses closed, people facing financial hardships, people sick and many dying. No one is immune from COVID-19 or the changes it is making in our lives. And that includes pets and the people who care for them.

Forced to cancel or revamp regular adoption and fund-raising events, rescue groups still are working to care for the pets. We can close our doors against the virus, but there’s no putting animal lives on hold.

Larger pet rescues are using cadres of volunteer foster families to care for shelter pets in their homes, arranging for one-on-one adoption appointments, and offering online programs to help train new foster families. …

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco, which specializes in finding homes for older dogs, has been doing one-on-one adoption appointments and all their animals are sheltered in private homes. More needs to be done, says Patty Stanton, public relations director and board member for Muttville. The dogs need to find permanent homes, she says, and a lot of people feeling the stress of COVID-19 fears and trying to work from home, could benefit from the comfort and company of a pet. …

The Washington Post

March 20 2020

Alone no more: People are turning to dogs, cats and chickens to cope with self-isolation

Working from home and unable to go out, people are bringing home dogs and cats for companionship.

On a normal Sunday at the PetSmart in Gaithersburg, Md., Lucky Dog Animal Rescue would hold an adoption event and find homes for about 15 dogs.

But as coronavirus news started to spread this past week, the waiting list skyrocketed from 10 to 40 would-be adopters. “And we had 30 adoptions in three hours at that event alone,” said Mirah A. Horowitz, the rescue’s executive director.

Forget toilet paper, milk and hand sanitizer: There’s now a rush to stock up on real necessities, such as cats and dogs. And rabbits and fish, and even a couple of chickens.

As schools close and millions of people across the United States work from home, the promise of companionship even in a time of isolation is prompting some to take in animals. Many say they finally have the time to properly train and care for a new pet. Animal rescuers across the country say they are seeing spiking interest in adoption and fostering, as well as offers to help everywhere from open-admission shelters to smaller nonprofit groups.

In California, where 40 million residents were ordered on Thursday night to stay home except for essential jobs or trips, such as getting groceries, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) noted an important exemption.

“You can still walk your dog,” he said. …

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, a San Francisco dog rescue specializing in older animals like Pepperoncini, has seen an increase in adoption and foster requests since the coronavirus. …

KGO-TV San Francisco

March 19 2020

Animal shelters in need of temporary homes for pets during COVID-19 pandemic

Animal shelters are considered essential services under the shelter-in-place orders for most Bay Area Counties. However, some of them are trying to find temporary homes for dogs and cats anyway so staff and volunteers don’t have to come into work and can practice social distancing at home.

On the back patio of Sherri Franklin’s Potrero Hill home, a dozen dogs visit and frolic.

Normally they, and more than 70 other dogs, would be housed at the Muttville shelter she founded in San Francisco 13 years ago. That isn’t happening during the novel coronavirus outbreak.

“All 80-plus dogs are all in foster homes right now because we don’t want to have to bring people into work” Franklin says.

Although shelters are considered essential services, Franklin says why take the chance of exposing workers, volunteers or clients to the virus. However, for people who are feeling a bit lonely, sheltering in their homes, adoption is still an option.

“We’re setting them up with appointments, 1-on-1 appointments,” she says.

They’re even waiving adoption fees during this emergency period. …


March 19 2020

Muttville Encourages San Franciscans to Adopt a Senior Dog While In Isolation

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue has had to put 84 dogs into foster homes this week as it temporarily shuts down its adoption events and Alabama Street headquarters, and founder Sherri Franklin is foster 12 dogs at her own home.

ABC 7 took its cameras to Franklin’s home for a segment on Wednesday, as Muttville is trying to get out the word about its adoptable dogs. As the organization writes on Facebook, “While so many are working from home, it’s a good time for a dog to get accustomed to you and your home, help save lives!” …


July 5 2019

'Cuddle Club' unites senior people and senior dogs in the sweetest way

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue’s innovative program is a win-win solution for people and animals who need companionship, exercise and affection.

The first time Vince Louie went with his local senior group to participate in an animal rescue organization’s “Cuddle Club,” he didn’t plan on adopting a dog. The event, hosted several times a month by San Francisco’s Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, gives senior people the chance to spend time petting and walking senior dogs aged 7 and up.

Louie, 75 at the time, met a 14-year-old Maltese mixed breed named Monte and it was love at first sight. Louie adopted Monte that very day.

“He’s pretty mellow, a go-along kind of guy,” Louie told TODAY. “He just seems in sync, so I was like, ‘Well, let’s have a go at it.’ It was time to have another family member.”

It turned out to be an important decision. Louie’s wife died three months later, and Monte offered countless snuggles while Louie coped with his grief.

Over a year later, the two are peas in a pod who go everywhere together. Monte, now 15 1/2, is a popular sight at fundraising events like running and bike races for the Chinatown YMCA, calmly “helping” Louie, now 76, volunteer from the comfort of a backpack.

While many people want to adopt puppies, Louie said senior dogs — who are typically less energetic and already housetrained — can make wonderful pets, particularly for older people. He’s grateful to Muttville for rescuing Monte and offering programs for seniors like the Cuddle Club.

“They do a great service,” he said.

Since its inception in 2007, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue has rescued and re-homed more than 6,600 older dogs. The nonprofit’s innovative programs like the Seniors for Seniors initiative, which waives adoption fees for people over age 62 and offers a free starter kit with pet supplies, have boosted success rates. …

Modern Dog

June 2019

The Magic of Muttville

How a senior dog rescue is changing the lives of senior dogs

It wasn’t Eileen Cremata’s first rodeo when she took in Pepe, the longhaired Chihuahua from Muttville Senior Dog Rescue six years ago. For the two previous decades, the Californian fostered about 150 dogs for a local rescue, specializing in litters of puppies.

Now a serial foster mom and adopter with Muttville, you could say she’s really gone to the other—much older—end of the spectrum.

“The first one we took in was totally blind. Most are hard of hearing,” Eileen says. “Buttercup had one eye missing. I’d not only have to get in front of her to get her attention because she wouldn’t see or hear me—but I’d have to get in front of the side where she had an eye.”

Eileen is now on her 11th pooch. After Pepe came Buttercup the terrier, Caroline the Miniature Schnauzer, Angie the Aussie Shepherd, Miss Abbie the longhaired Chihuahua, Figgy the 18-year-old miniature Poodle, Sweet Girl the Labrador cross, Maddie the Poodle, and Spritz and Marbles, both Chihuahuas.

Their personalities are as varied as their histories. Some were surrendered when their owners passed away, or simply didn’t want them anymore (Figgy was called “stupid” on his shelter intake form). Others, like three-and-a-half pound Marbles, was picked up as a stray.

Repeat fosters and adopters like Eileen are a huge blessing to the San Francisco-based rescue, who take in unwanted animals at risk of euthanization in busy shelters. As its dogs are fostered and adopted, the extra space is used to take in more pups.

“Fostering a dog can absolutely save another life,” says founder Sherri Franklin. “We’re foster based and we couldn’t save so many dogs if we didn’t have foster families and repeat adopters.”

The operation has grown in leaps and bounds since she started Muttville in her home in 2007. That year she rescued 27 dogs. In 2019, Muttville is on track to hit a whopping 1,000 adoptions—nearly three dogs a day. And in total, they’re close to 6,800. While most of the dogs used to be pulled from San Francisco-area shelters, the group now takes in aging and unwanted oldies from different parts of the state, as well as emergency evacuations regions during the recent Northern California wildfires and Hurricane Harvey. …

The Dodo

February 20 2019

Dying Man's Last Wish Is To Find A Home For His Beloved Dog

He’s his best friend – and he wants to make sure he’s always safe.

John simply cannot imagine his life without a dog by his side.

Even though John needs a wheelchair to get around these days, he knew he was still capable of giving a shelter dog a loving home.

So in 2017, he met Pawpaw at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in California. Pawpaw was 11 years old then, a senior just like John. They instantly bonded – and that’s how John and Pawpaw became a family.

The last couple of years have been full of love between John and Pawpaw.

This is the 13th dog John has lived with throughout the course of his life – and he couldn’t imagine a more perfect companion. Even though John suffers from ALS, a neurodegenerative disease, he has treasured every single day with Pawpaw.

But now John’s health has been declining more rapidly, so he has to plan for the future – and there’s nothing more important to John at this moment than finding his beloved Pawpaw a forever home for after he passes away.

“Pawpaw is his family and it’s bittersweet, knowing that John may leave us soon,” Sherri Franklin, founder of Muttville, told The Dodo. “I am honored to help Pawpaw find his new family.” …

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