When senior dogs arrive at shelters, they often aren’t even put up for adoption. Since most people don’t want to adopt older dogs, those animals are often slated for euthanasia. This pulled at the heartstrings of shelter volunteer Sherri Franklin, who knew she had to do something.
“I realized that there was a hole in the rescue world,” says Franklin. “Nobody was really standing up for these old dogs and helping them have a second chance.”
That’s when she founded the senior dog rescue group Muttville, which helps save older dogs from euthanasia in California.
While Franklin says that she has always felt a kinship with animals, she didn’t always feel comfortable around shelters.
“One day, I found a cat and I took him into the animal shelter and I heard the dogs barking and I thought I have to leave here. I can’t deal with this,” says Franklin. “As I left, I realized I needed to deal with this, because that’s the reality.”
As the full-time Executive Director of Muttville, Franklin’s days often start with a visit to a shelter to pick up senior dogs like Essie, a 7- or 8-year-old stray found on the streets of San Francisco. She then brings Essie back to Muttville for a checkup with the rescue group’s full-time vet. Once the dog is given a clean bill of health, she is free to roam around the cage-free offices with the other dogs while she waits to be adopted.
Muttville is committed to finding homes for every dog that the group takes in, including dogs with terminal illnesses. In 2016, Muttville will have saved over 4,000 dogs slated for euthanasia. However, it’s not just the dogs that Franklin sees benefiting from the rescue’s hard work.
“I’ve had so many people come back and tell me how their Muttville dog has changed their life,” Franklin says. “I think that sometimes adopting a dog rescues the person as much as it rescues the dog.”
Watch the video above to learn more about a day in Franklin’s life as the Executive Director of a senior dog rescue group at Muttville.