How long have you been involved with animal rescue?
How did you get involved with rescue?
I started volunteering at the SF/SPCA in the 1990s as a dog behavior volunteer, but I have always been involved in animal welfare. I began caring for dogs that were considered unadoptable because of age, medical problems, behavioral issues, or other challenges. I brought them to my house and found new forever homes for them.
Tell us about your organization.
Muttville Senior Dog Rescue is a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the way the world thinks about and treats older dogs (aged 7 years and older) and to creating better lives for them through rescue, foster, adoption, and hospice.
When senior dogs end up at local shelters — whether it’s because of a lifelong companion’s death or change in circumstance, or because they’ve been abandoned — they are often passed over for puppies, and overcrowded shelters may have no option other than euthanasia. Muttville rescues these wonderful dogs, gives them the medical care they need, spruces them up with grooming and good food, puts them in a loving foster home, and finds them new forever homes. Part of Muttville’s mission is to educate the public about the joys of adopting an older dog, and after seven years of operation, the word is spreading. These sweet dogs are their own best ambassadors, and just by walking down the street they are showing the world what a wonderful companion an older dog can be.
What is the biggest challenge facing your rescue right now?
Muttville covers veterinary costs for these abandoned senior dogs, as some come with health concerns. We dedicate ourselves to making them healthy and adoptable. In many cases we spend thousands of dollars on a dog’s dental needs or heart, liver, and urinary testing so they are in the best possible shape for their new family. Therefore, we are constantly in need of donations; it’s our supporters and their belief in our mission to save senior dogs that keeps us going!
What are some of the major misconceptions about adopting a senior dog?
That they’ve suffered some form of abuse, when in reality most of our senior dogs come to Muttville because of a human condition. Perhaps someone died or went into an assisted-living facility, and we still hear sad stories of foreclosures and divorce. The dog is often the one that suffers because of their human’s circumstances.
What is the age range of the dogs at your rescue?
From 7 to 20 years old.
A dog I’d really like to see adopted is …
Sally. She is the nicest dog in the world, loves children; she’s engaged, happy, mellow, housetrained, has a constantly wagging tail, but because she is black and a bit chunky, she gets overlooked. You can check out her profile at muttville.org/mutt/sally-2087.
A dog that is a great success story …
I love families that have come back to adopt a second time so their first Muttville dog will have company. For example, last week one of our dogs, Schubert, got adopted by the dads of one of our former dogs, Cubby. We just got a photo of the two little Pomeranians cuddled up together. That made my day!
Where can people go online to find out more, see adoptable dogs, volunteer, foster, or donate?
They can visit our website at muttville.org. You’ll find photos and stories of all our available dogs and a donate button, too!
What are your upcoming events?
Saturday, April 5, 12, and 19 is Love a Senior Saturday; and Sunday, April 27 is Love a Senior Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. at Muttville’s San Francisco headquarters, 255 Alabama Street, next to the San Francisco SPCA. Meet our sweet seniors who are looking for their forever homes. One might just be your next best friend! Check our calendar (muttville.org/events) for other dates and adoption outreach locations.
Muttville’s annual award-winning benefit Moolah for Mutts takes place in San Francisco in September. Watch the website for date
Muttville: 255 Alabama Street (near 16th), 415-272-4172, muttville.org