I received a call from my friend Iona, whom I was able to help with a reverse mortgage recently. She knew that I had just finished working on my photo-story book about dogs, and thoughtfully invited me to check out Muttville, an organization whose motto is to give senior dogs a “2nd chance”. They are located at the corner of 16th Street and Alabama Street, next to the SPCA.
I’ve visited dog shelters before; one of them, the San Francisco SPCA, has an incredible facility. But most of the dogs there are young, and more easily adoptable. The dogs stay in small rooms and visitors can observe them through a glass door. When I visited Muttville, I had no idea what to expect. The building, which was used as a bank in the 1930’s, has many rooms with high ceilings. (The former vault is used for storage.) Dogs are attended to by 16 staff members and about 300 volunteers, and wander freely through the room. Throughout the space, there are dogs beds with blankets on the floor. Every week, they rescue about twenty-five new senior dogs, and about the same number are adopted by happy families. Most of them arrive here from other dog shelters from all over California. Some are shipped here from Mexico, Taiwan and even Iran. Sherri Franklin founded Muttville in 2007. After volunteering in the SPCA for many years, she realized that senior dogs, those who are 7 years and older, were considered “unadoptable” and were routinely euthanized. She decided to save some by adopting them and kept the seniors in her home (now she still has ten in her charge). Her desire to save more dogs led her to start the organization, which over ten years, has saved over 5000 senior dogs. In 2016, Sherri Franklin and Muttville were one of ten “CNN Hero of The Year Finalists”. The day before I visited Muttville, a friend (who is a senior) told me that he had adopted an older dog. I inquired from which shelter and was not surprised that it was Muttville. He also told me that his friend had adopted five dogs from Muttville, as well.
One of the programs offered at the shelter is matching human seniors with their four-legged senior companions without having to pay an adoption fee. In the lower level of the building, there is a large room with comfortable chairs, where human seniors, who cannot have dogs where they live, come and spend time and play with the adorable, loving creatures.
All of the dogs go through a thorough examination by a vet and are prescribed any necessary medications and special diets to help expedite their recovery.
I love dogs, and many times I have been in the parks where different dogs congregate together and mix with people, but being at Muttville was an emotional experience for me and filled my eyes with tears. I have no idea what caused this, but I decided to do what I can to help. 10% of the profits from the sale of my book “42 Encounters with Dog Lovers” will go to Muttville or any other dog loving organizations of the readers’ choice. Please help our beautiful senior dogs. When you buy the book at encounterspublishing.com or amazon.com, I will make a contribution on your behalf to the dog charity of your choice.
P.S. I’ve chosen four images to show the dogs’ lives during my visit to the Muttville facility. You can visit the facility on weekends. It is located at 255 Alabama Street, in San Francisco. On Saturday (tomorrow), August18th you will find me there with my books. And if you are too busy, check them out online. When I was leaving, Ms. Franklin gave me a package with the information about Muttville. There was a note – “Without You there are no 2nd Chances”.
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