When people adopt a dog, they often fall in love with puppies and choose younger, peppier puppies over older, softer mixed breeds. But San Francisco-based company Muttville is changing this trend by connecting gray-bite-sized canines with cloudy eyes to people who will rely on them for the rest of their days. In 2007, Sherri Franklin founded the non-profit organization that rescues older dogs (from 7 years old) from all over California.
The organization does more than give older dogs a second try in life. In 2013, Muttville founded the Cuddle Club, a subsidiary of the senior adoption program. Two to four times a month, older people can visit the shelter's community cuddle room and spend time with Muttville's older dogs. The event has become so popular that some high-level organizations are on a waiting list.
"This program is a win-win situation," Franklin told Mental Floss. "Our older dogs get love and attention, while our older citizens, some isolated, have created a community where they can go out and socialize and experience a lot of unconditional love."
In the Cuddle Club, older people who may not be able to do this. During the visits, seniors can let the animals run and even small ones can ride on their strollers.
"I think the dogs give some of our guests a sense of value because sometimes a dog comes down and they are nervous and start to tremble, and over the course of 1
Seniors for Seniors, on the other hand, helps older people to adopt older dogs. Muttville not only waives the adoption fee of $ 200 for those over the age of 62, but also sends dogs in with a full set that includes a harness and collar, a leash, dog bowls, and basic food and medicine supplies her new home bed and, if necessary, a dog gate and stairs. Since October 2018, Muttville has saved 6,000 dogs, some of which have been adopted by participants in the Cuddle Club.
In addition to senior citizens for the elderly and the Cuddle Club, there is also a hospice program in Muttville, in which dogs are close to the end of life. Palliative care can be taken from someone at home (Muttville pays most of the costs).
Spending time with a dog has proven beneficial to the health of pet parents. "Studies have shown that holding and petting a dog lowers cortisol [a stress hormone] in your body and lowers blood pressure, and we see that both the dogs and our visitors have less stress at our Cuddle Club events," says Franklin. Caring for a pet also increases physical activity, lowers depression and provides general well-being.
You can check out all the friendly Muttville Fidos who need a home here forever. Of course, you don't have to be a senior to adopt one of the adorable dogs. People of all ages can bring a dog companion home – such as a chihuahua, a bichon frize or a wonderful mixed breed – and set up their own cuddle club. And for those who want to groom a dog, Muttville also offers this option.