August 16 2018

Sherri Franklin of Muttville Senior Dog Rescue: Helping Senior Dogs Get a Fresh Start

“Dogs are the gateway to teaching children and others compassion for animals.”

Since starting her nonprofit in 2007, Sherri Franklin, founder and CEO of Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, sought to change the idea that older dogs in shelters were undesirable and unwanted, and has placed nearly 6,000 senior dogs in forever homes. Kathryn Engelhardt-Cronk, MissionBox co-founder and CEO, talks to Sherri about taking a nonprofit from a vision to reality and what makes senior dogs so special to so many, and her hope that others will follow the Muttville model of success.

Nob Hill Gazette

February 2018

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. …


September 6 2017

69 Animal Refugees From Houston Arrive in the Bay Area for Adoption

On Sunday night, a private plane touched down at Oakland International Airport. Traveling from Houston, the flight was sold out, its seats taken up by 54 dogs and 15 cats, all displaced from overwhelmed shelters in Southeast Texas.

In the week following Hurricane Harvey’s record-shattering rainfall, recovery efforts were carried out with a sense of dire urgency. Countless Houstonians were left with nothing but the shells of their former homes, now blanketed by thick films of clay silt. Savings accounts dwindled down to right-of-decimal-point sums; rent was, however, still due for many of the properties caught in Harvey’s path. In the ensuing turmoil, hundreds of dogs and cats, young and old, were left to fend for themselves in various Lone Star State shelters.

This week, 69 of those in-need animals found their way to the Bay Area.

Our own San Francisco SPCA joined forces with three other Bay Area local adoption agencies – Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, Mad Dog Rescue and Milo Foundation – to rescue dozens of dogs and cats. With transport kennels and leashes in tow, the quickly assembled rescue team boarded a private plane, graciously offered up by an affluent Sonoma county resident, and headed to Houston on a heroic expedition.

“What we can do is relieve those shelters that had all those dogs [prior to the storm] and now they can handle the homeless animals that are being rounded up daily,” said Sherri Franklin, founder and CEO of Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, to SFGate. …

Highlight Press

September 6 2017

Evacuated Animals Touch Down in Oakland, Looking for Loving Homes

In the wake of every natural disaster, it’s inevitable that so many animals are going to find themselves in desperate situations. Feral and homeless animals lucky to have survived, along with pets separated from their owners – often permanently.

So once again, animal charities are doing their best to rehome as many rescued cats and dogs as possible. As it stands, 69 dogs and cats pulled from the storm are now looking for new homes in Bay Area.

Sunday night saw a packed plane arrive at Oakland International Airport, which had a somewhat elevated contingency of kennels. 69 dogs and cats were packed onto the chaotic flight, in order to get them away from the rising floodwaters in Texas and onto safer ground.

“It was absolutely crazy. We decided we would get as many crates as we could,” said Sherri Franklin, founder and CEO of Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. …

CBS SF Bay Area (2017)

September 4 2017

Dozens Of Pets From Texas Shelters Flown To Bay Area For Adoption

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Fifty dogs and 20 cats looking for new homes arrived in the Bay Area in style, thanks to efforts by the San Francisco SPCA, Mad Dog Rescue, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and the Milo Foundation.

The animals were flown in to Oakland from Texas on a private jet. The pets were in Texas animal shelters when Hurricane Harvey struck the Gulf Coast. But they had to leave to make room for all the pets that got lost during the storm.

“They have thousands of animals at emergency pop-up shelters. They are actively searching to try to find homes for them first but this is going to be an ongoing rescue effort for six months to a year,” explained Ryan Darfler, director of Mad Dog Rescue.

NBC Los Angeles

September 4 2017

Pets From Storm–Ravaged Texas Transported to Bay Area

With open arms, a host of animal rescue groups across the Bay Area on Sunday welcomed a slew of pets from hurricane-battered Texas.

Roughly 70 dogs and cats, which were already living in shelters before Hurricane Harvey ransacked the region, were transported to the Bay Area to make room for other animals stranded by the storm.

“When shelters are too full, difficult decisions have to be made and thankfully, with the support of Bay Area residents, by bringing these animals here, we can find them forever loving homes and continue to support the efforts in Texas,” Laurie Routhier from Muttville, one of the rescue groups, said.

The animals will likely be put up for adoption by the end of the week, according to the San Francisco SPCA.


September 4 2017

Pets displaced by Hurricane Harvey looking for homes in the Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO – Some Bay Area animal rescue groups have stepped up to help overcrowded animal shelters in Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Last night a private plane packed full of cats and dogs landed in Oakland from Texas and now volunteers are busy trying to find homes for about six dozen pets.

Four agencies including the Milo Foundation out of Point Richmond, Mad Dog Rescue, the San Francisco SPCA and Muttville Senior Dog Rescue will be offering up 15 cats and 54 dogs in about three days.

Right now the animals are getting bathed, fed, immunized and spayed and neutered.

“All of the animals that we’ve extracted out of the Hurricane Harvey zone were animals that were part of the shelter and adoption system” said Ryan Darfler, Director of Mad Dog Rescue. When Harvey struck, shelters in the hurricane belt needed to make room for animals actually displaced by floods.

“So when the flood waters started to hit the area, they called Austin Pets Alive and APA helped to evacuate close to 2000 dogs and 1000 cats within a three-day period,” said Darfler.

Bay Area volunteers flew to Texas in private plane donated by Sonoma-based Charlie’s Acres.

“[It was] literally a 12-hour whirlwind of activity,” said Sherri Franklin, the Founder and CEO of Muttville Senior

Dog Rescue in San Francisco, which saves older dogs from euthanasia.

They brought crates full of supplies and medications and swapped them out for cats and dogs.

“I just feel like that whole community there was so grateful that we had come,” said Franklin. “There were volunteers literally in tears when we left.” …

NBC Bay Area (2017)

September 4 2017

Pets From Storm-Ravaged Texas Transported to Bay Area

Dozens of Hurricane Harvey refugees are now settling in the Bay Area, including 70 rescue animals. Sam Brock reports.

Mission Local

September 4 2017

Local pet shelters assist with hurricane relief

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Texas shelters are preparing for a wave of lost and displaced pets. They’ll need room, so other shelters are taking in animals to help make space – including at least two local ones.

KRON4 reports that the San Francisco SPCA (which has a branch in the Mission) and Muttville senior dog rescue are among those part in the relief effort.

The pets coming to the Bay Area are not the ones displaced or lost in the storm – those, the Texas shelters will need to make room for so they can be kept safe and hopefully reunited with their owners. The new arrivals to the Bay Area were already up for adoption in Texas.

Local groups traveled to Texas to retrieve the pets. Muttville’s founder Sherri Franklin headed to Austin, and brought back all of the available seniors, which is Muttville’s focus.

That’s six arrivals at the one shelter so far, with another 10 or so expected to arrive later this week, said Muttville’s Sophie Cheston. They’ll be examined by a vet and then become available for adoption starting Wednesday.

“These senior dogs, they know that they’ve been rescued and they have so much love to give. They usually have come from places where they’ve been with families or loving forever homes and they’ve lost that, so they are just amazing companions,” Cheston said. “And they’re great for the majority of us in San Francisco who live in apartments, because you don’t need to go running them around at the beach or park for four hours a day…They do really well with city life.” …


September 4 2017

Animals rescued from Hurricane Harvey arrive in the Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO – More than 70 cats and dogs affected by Hurricane Harvey arrived in San Francisco from Texas Sunday night in need of new homes. The animals were previously homeless before the hurricane. The shelters in Austin are now inundated with animals. Several Bay Area rescue groups are stepping up to help.

The pets arrived at the San Francisco SPCA at 9 p.m. on a private plane filled to capacity flying into Oakland from Austin. The animals were brought to the Bay Area to safety from Hurricane Harvey’s devastating floods.

“It’s devastating in Texas right now and everyone wants to help,” said Laurie Routhier of the Muttville Senior Dog Rescue.

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue is one of four Bay Area animal rescue groups along with the San Francisco SPCA, the Milo Foundation and Mad Dog Rescue taking care of the animals from the Austin Pets Alive Shelter.

They’re helping the Austin shelter clear space and make room since it’s now flooded with tens of thousands of animals who have lost their homes or families displaced from the hurricane.

“By bringing in these animals and finding them homes here in the Bay Area those shelters will be able to rescue those animals and hopefully reunite them with their own families,” said Routhier.

The animals brought to the Bay Area by a private jet donated by Sonoma-based Charlie’s Acres that left at 7 a.m. in Oakland to Austin with crates and kennels filled with supplies including vaccines, flea and tick medications, and antibiotics. …

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