Older pets get adoption help at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco

There is a special push to get some older dogs out of Bay Area shelters and into loving homes ahead of the holidays.

Monday morning was "departure day" for nine dogs of all types and sizes, leaving the Oakland Animal Shelter.

Their next chapter is a happy one.

They are senior or elderly dogs, older than seven years old.

They're headed to a place that caters to them.

Once the dogs arrive at the Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco, they'll get a studio-style photo glamour shot, a full check-up and essential medical care, so they can be adoption-ready in a matter of days.

"We've heard from all our shelters around us and they need help," said Angela Ramiro, chief veterinary officer for Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. "This is the time we're going to step up."

The director of Oakland Animal Services said senior dogs are tough for them to adopt out and Oakland animal shelters are always short on space.

"We have 80 dog kennels total, and we take in an average of 12 dogs a day," said Ann Dunn, Oakland Animal Services director. "We've already taken in more than 1,700 dogs and cats than we did last year when last year we were at our absolute max."

Dunn said inflation and housing struggles are forcing more Oakland residents to surrender their pets. Last month they had more than 300 surrenders compared to 238 the year before in November.

But at Muttville, a private non-profit animal rescue across the Bay in San Francisco, they actually need more senior dogs to meet demand.

"We have virtual adoptions. Even if we have someone who lives way far away, they can meet that dog online. They can shop for that dog online, and we have volunteers who can transport that dog to their home," Ramiro said.

She said volunteers have driven pets to their new homes from San Francisco to Palm Springs, Oregon and even Colorado.

It’s a win-win for all parties - and pups –  involved. 

"Senior dogs are extra special, and for someone who's not as active, if you want a dog to sit on the couch with you or work from home with you - this the perfect dog for you," Ramiro said.

Muttville's next adoption event is this coming weekend. For more information on how you can adopt a senior dog, visit Muttville.org.