Negroni Week News

Charity Profile: Muttville

June 7, 2016

One look at a snuggly, silly, floppy puppy, and it’s hard to resist the urge to take him home immediately. Sadly, the adoption stories for senior dogs are not so easy. Many older dogs are surrendered to shelters that are unable to care for them because of their age or medical needs. This is where San Francisco-based Muttville comes in. “We prioritize working with local municipal shelters, taking older dogs that they’ve deemed “unadoptable” simply because of their age,” says Bunny Rosenberg, the volunteer and foster care manager for Muttville. “These dogs come to the shelters as strays, are abandoned, or are surrendered by their guardians. A lot of dogs come to us because their guardians have passed away and there is no family member that can take care of them.”

Muttville was founded in 2007 by longtime animal rights advocate Sherri Franklin, who now serves as the executive director. The shelter began humbly in her own home, which still functions as an annex for some of the organization’s more sensitive or healing dogs. Muttville’s primary facility in the mission district houses between 20 and 30 dogs at a time, with another 40 to 60 in area foster homes. Since its inception, Muttville has rescued more than 3,700 senior animals in the Bay Area and beyond, taking in 800 in 2015 alone. “Our biggest challenge is cost,” says Rosenberg. “Some of these dogs come to us in very bad shape—horrible teeth, masses that need to be removed—and it is expensive to get them ready for adoption.”

Muttville regularly seeks grants, but much of their funding comes from individual donors, and many San Francisco venues have selected the organization in the past to receive their donations from Negroni Week. Funding helps Muttville provide senior dogs with necessary medical care, grooming, adoption services and loving, end-of-life care. “These are not just shelter dogs; every day, dogs are moved from loving homes to concrete cages because their guardians have died or moved or simply can’t care for them anymore,” says Rosenberg. “Our mission is to change the way the world thinks about and treats older dogs and to create better lives for them through rescue, foster, adoption and hospice.”