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Menlo Park Mutt Strut Raises Awareness for Senior Dogs By Izzy Leake

Advocates for senior dogs hosted the first annual Silicon Valley Mutt Strut, an awareness event for Muttville, at Fremont Park this past weekend. The event featured contests such as best trick, best smile, and best formal attire for community members to enter their dogs in, as well as games (like ring around the fire hydrant) and adoptable dogs to meet.

Muttville is a San Francisco based rescue and adoption center for senior dogs. The non-profit organization takes in senior dogs from shelters all over California and finds them homes. Most of these dogs would likely be euthanized since it is rarer for older dogs to be adopted.

Michelle (left) and Romy (right) were abandoned in a backyard and are a bonded pair currently up for adoption.

Muttville was started in 2007 by Sherri Franklin. Franklin stated, “I started Muttville because senior dogs were dying in shelters where I was volunteering. I started bringing them home one at a time and decided it was a huge problem, so I decided to make it into my life.”

Cream Puff arrived at Muttville on Saturday.

Adam and Laurie Berenstein brought their dogs Sadie and Dot to the Mutt Strut. The Berensteins have been adopting from and supporting Muttville for years. Adam Berenstein said this about adopting older dogs: “We’ve found that we’re only going to have them for a couple of years but every day is a good day.” Sadie (a 12 year-old Labrador Retriever) is their fourth Muttville dog. Sadie was found at 11 pm tied to a bench at the music pavillion in Golden Gate Park. She was blind and overweight, and for five days Sadie was held at animal control in San Francisco. Even though she had a microchip, her owners could not be found. When Sadie made it Muttville they treated her giardia and arthritis and gave her acupuncture. Muttville has a full-time veterinary staff and is a cage-free facility. Their other dog adopted from Muttville, Dot, is a 14 year-old Terrier and is deaf. Muttville currently has about 80 dogs up for adoption.

Egypt is a 9 year-old pup looking for a home after her family had to move and sadly could not take her with them.

“Senior dogs are great. They’re mellow. They are usually house trained and they don’t destroy anything,” said Laurie Berenstein.

Franklin said “older dogs are very grateful that you are able to give them love and give them that last chapter and make their lives beautiful. They love you the most.”

Tiger is 13 years-old and can be adopted through a hospice program because of his kidney disease.

Franklin spoke about how caring for senior dogs can actually help people too, “In creating Muttville we realized that not only do these dogs need to be saved, but there are also so many humans out there that also need to be saved, and our dogs do that. It’s pretty incredible to watch somebody walk in with a frown on their face, they’re not very happy. They sit down on the sofa, dogs crawl on their lap, and all of a sudden that same person is smiling, laughing, and talking to other people. It happens everyday.”

This old dog shows off his new tricks!

“We’re always looking for volunteers, adopters, foster families, and donors. Come visit our shelter it's a really happy place,” shared Franklin.

Friends of Muttville organized the Mutt Strut. Friends of Muttville has chapters all over the Bay Area dedicated to fundraising and hosting events to advocate for the Muttville mission: “to give senior dogs a second chance at life.”

This good boy saves the day dressed as Captain America.
This bulldog competes to be the best dressed.