Jul 20, 2023 - News

A sneak peek at Muttville's soon-to-be new home for senior dogs

A rendering of Muttville's forever home at 750 Florida St. in the Mission. Image: Courtesy of Muttville

Senior dog shelter Muttville has big plans for its Mission District-based forever home, which it broke ground on earlier this year.

Driving the news: Muttville recently gave Axios an early look at its permanent shelter, which it hopes to open by next fall, Muttville CEO Sherri Franklin told Axios.

  • Muttville's new shelter will be about three times the size of its current one on Rescue Row, enabling the nonprofit to save more senior pups, Franklin said.

Why it matters: California is facing some of the worst shelter overcrowding it's seen in recent years, according to the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, in part due to pandemic-related returns.

What they're saying: There are several factors contributing to shelter overcrowding, Franklin said, including people abandoning dogs on the street or returning dogs to shelters, sometimes because they simply can't afford to care for them anymore.

  • "And then when they go to the shelter because they can't keep them, the shelter says, 'We're just going to euthanize them today because we have no space,'" she said.
  • San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen, whose District 9 includes the Mission, said in a written statement to Axios that she's "thrilled" Muttville will remain in the neighborhood, touting its mission "for protecting the most vulnerable dogs" in the animal rescue system.
  • Of note: Both Muttville and SF SPCA are no-kill shelters.
A rendering of the kitchen. Image: Courtesy of Muttville

By the numbers: Every year, Franklin said Muttville rescues about 1,100 senior dogs, including my sweet angel Frosting, whom I adopted in 2019.

  • Once the new space is up and running, Muttville plans to gradually increase that number until it doubles, Franklin said.
  • The bigger space, Franklin said, will also enable Muttville to take in more dogs in the event of a disaster, like a fire or a hoarding situation.

What's happening: Muttville plans to design the shelter with an emphasis on communal living, where dogs aren't separated from each other or from humans, Muttville COO Lori Routhier told Axios.

  • The shelter will also feature a veterinary clinic, community space, dog park for its senior residents and more.
  • "We really want this to be a happy place where everybody's welcome and everybody's at home," Routhier said.
A rendering of the new adoption center. Image: Courtesy of Muttville

Zoom in: The larger space will also enable Muttville to provide mentorship through symposiums and education, both for the veterinary community and dog guardians, Franklin said.

  • The programming would center on caring for senior dogs and hospice care.
  • "As an animal ages, their needs change and some of their medical or their care needs change," Routhier said. "And people don't always know how to navigate it."

What to watch: "A big part of our vision for the future is to do this for dogs everywhere until every senior dog has a loving home," Routhier said.

Editor's note: We've updated this story to note SF SPCA is also a no-kill shelter.

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