In honor of National Adopt a Senior Pet Month, meet the San Francisco-based rescue organization that wants to remind you that age is just a number.
Ten years ago, Sherri Franklin was volunteering at a local animal shelter when she noticed a pattern of older pooches being overlooked by potential adopters. So, she did what any dog lover would do: She took them home.
“First it was two dogs,” she says. “Then it turned into 10!”
Franklin set about finding forever homes for the pooches and shortly after, the idea for her non-profit, cage-free rescue shelter, Muttville, was born.
“The great thing about adopting an older dog is that its personality is already well formed,” Franklin says.
Based in San Francisco, Muttville takes in canines aged 7 and older from area shelters and homes. Once the dogs are evaluated by a vet, they’re transferred to 1 of 100 volunteer foster homes to await adoption. (Those pups found with untreatable or terminal illnesses still get loads of love and care through Muttville’s doggy hospice program, which pairs pets with volunteer caretakers for the duration of their lives.)
While most canines are California natives, others are rescued and flown in from across the country. Following Hurricane Harvey, Franklin found a friend of a friend with a private jet, filled it with Houston-area dogs and cats displaced by the storm, and brought them back to San Francisco shelters to be adopted out.
Now in its 10th year, Muttville just celebrated the rescue of its 5,000th dog (a ridiculously cute Pomeranian named Leonardo) and expects to reach a record rescue rate of 1,000 dogs saved in 2017.
“Senior dogs come with life experience and manners, they know what "no" means, and indeed they are grateful to be saved—you can just feel it,” says Muttville spokesperson Patty Stanton.
To help Muttville make its goal, consider adopting one of these precious pooches. Not able to adopt right now? Enjoy the cute overload, and make a donation to Muttville here.