Senior Dog Spotlight: City of Elderly Love Rescue

There is something special about older dogs. Is it that having lived beyond the spazzy puppy period, their calm demeanor can lower our blood pressure? When I volunteer at my local senior dog rescue in San Francisco, the adoptable pups there are cuddle bugs and it's a joy spending time with them every week.

Experiencing the warmth and affection these old dogs offer is why I am so happy to shine a light on a new rescue focused on giving older dogs a second chance. City of Elderly Love Rescue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is "dedicated to saving Philly's vintage pets" and in a few years have re-homed over 400 animals.

Since they co-founded the rescue in 2014, Erin Lewis and Samantha Holbrook have saved more than 400 animals.

Erin adds, "We always say that quality is greater than quantity we don't really care how long they'll be with us as long as they have amazing lives and they can make some families really happy during that time."

Erin's own senior dog, Gemma, was the inspiration.

"I call her my soul dog because she was just that amazing and I like to think that every senior pet we rescue could be someone else's Gemma," said Erin.



If you haven't experienced the love of a senior dog yet, consider visiting this rescue or go to one of their adoption events. Discovering why senior dogs rule will change your life for the better!


Adopt     Foster     Donate

WebsiteCity of Elder Love

Twitter: @SaveASeniorPet


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San Francisco SPCA Launches Pop-Up Adoption Center at Embarcadero Center!

Need a quick snuggle during an afternoon coffee run? Thinking about adding to your family with an adopted dog or cat? Maybe a bunny? If you live or work downtown the San Francisco SPCA has a pop-up adoption center in Two Embarcadero for the month of February!

They had me at "coffee cuddles"


February 1, 2017 – The San Francisco SPCA, in partnership with Embarcadero Center, has launched a Pop-Up Adoption Center at Two Embarcadero Center. Visitors will meet adorable, adoptable animals and participate in fun events designed to introduce potential adopters to their new best friend. The Pop-Up Adoption Center will be open weekdays February 1 – 28, 2017 from 11am to 7pm, with the exception of Presidents’ Day on February 20.

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Offer some affection to a senior dog, and your heart will get HUGE

What is so special about dogs, especially old dogs, is their ability to pull you out of a funk. You know, when you feel blue or maybe just out of sorts.

Dogs seem to do just the right thing, at the right time. It doesn't have to be a dramatic move, but it could be they simply need you to take them out to go to the bathroom or give them a few scratches in a place they can't reach.


Dogs have a way of getting you to focus less on whatever is bothering you and more on them. Their sweet but steady demeanor reflects a serenity that can quiet the noisiest mind. 

Introverts would do well to spend time with a senior dog. Someone prone to depression could benefit from time with a dog.

What is so wonderful about a dog is the simplicity of your time together, and interactions. They love you without reservation. Their needs are not complex.

A dog has no hidden agenda or ego. They offer a pure form of companionship that can change your life for the better.

The hardest thing is quieting your own internal dialogue so that you can hear and understand what a dog is saying to you. 

If you can be quiet then no doubt you'll learn about how dogs communicate, and as you spend time with them don't be surprised to feel their positive influence

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Discover why senior dogs rule: Fall in love with Nessa!!

Nessa is an adorable Papillon whose owner passed away. Now, this adorable girl is looking for a new best friend. Could it be you?


Nessa is very social and sweet. She does great with other dogs, rarely barks, is house-trained, and loves meeting new people.


Like most Papillons Nessa is very loyal and would love a companion to spend her golden years with.

Nessa is about 10 years young and weighs 10 pounds.

Fall in love with Nessa at Muttville on Rescue Row in San Francisco!

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You can feel TREMENDOUS when you spend time with senior dogs!

A little known secret in the medical and canine community is that older dogs have super powers. Yep, senior dogs have the power to heal you, to make you feel tremendous!

If you've never experienced life around an older dog, you might be skeptical of these claims, but hear me out. I am speaking from recent experiences with senior dogs, not just remembering my life with my old dog. 


Look at this image above, and tell me you can't imagine how it must feel to get that many close snuggles at one time. Not frantic puppy love, but slow and steady warmth.

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Discover why senior dogs rule: Fall in love with Smores!!

Meet the cutest dog in the world who is adoptable!


Smores is just as sweet as her name! This happy and sweet girl would make a wonderful companion for someone who wants a quiet, mellow, and easy-going dog.

She spends most of her time curled up in a cozy bed. Smores enjoys exploring her surroundings but is also perfectly content relaxing in your lap.

Smores does well with dogs of all sizes and would make a wonderful companion.

Smores is about 13 and only weighs 6 pounds!


Fall in love with her at Muttville on Rescue Row in San Francisco!

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Give your time to older dogs and get swamped by love!

Investing a few hours every week caring for older dogs at my local shelter is returning HUGE dividends. Senior dogs like Miller here, get straight to the point. 


He tracked my gaze, watched me walk over to one of the dog beds, and saw I wasn't faking my interest in offering a belly rub session.

It's reassuring to have such a clear call and response with the dogs. I always leave feeling good, and believing that I'm a good judge of character.

It also just feels nice to show these sugar faces some deserving love while they find a new family.

If you're wondering about how to add some positivity to your new year, I highly recommend investing your time volunteering at your local rescue or shelter.

And if you're looking to add some senior sweetheart loving into your home, you can find Miller at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco. 

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Discover why senior dogs rule: Fall in love with Ralph!!!

Is there such a thing as a puddle of a Poodle, or a Poodle puddle?

Ralph is a silly, fun and affectionate senior boy who can’t wait to meet you!

Give him a second and he'll be in your arms ready to snuggle up before dropping into the cutest little snoring bundle.

image from

He may not be able to see too well, but that doesn’t stop him from enjoying his daily walks and mingling with other mutts.

Not too big and not too small, he’s the perfect size to be your cuddle buddy and walking companion.

All Ralph wants is to spend his golden years as your BFF, partner in crime and constant companion!

We think Ralph is 11 years young, weighing about 15 lbs.

Fall in love with Ralph at Muttville on Rescue Row in San Francisco!


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Discover why senior dogs rule: Fall in love with Bell

This sugar face is the bell of the ball at Muttville. If you want to feel the love of an senior dog this little beagle is your girl.

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Look who is on cookie patrol!


Not too big and not too small, Bell is just the right size to be your constant companion!

Whether its cuddling up on the couch or going for a stroll in the sunshine, Bell just wants to be right next to you.

Not only does she get along well with people, but Bell is fabulous with dogs too. How great is that? Bell is simply pure perfection!

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We think Bell is 11 years young, weighing 25 lbs.

Meet her at Muttville in San Francisco on Rescue Row!

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A few things I've learned this year caring for older dogs at Muttville

I'm so thrilled Sherri Franklin was named a CNN Hero of the year for her work with Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. Her mission to raise awareness about old dogs languishing in shelters, and being seen as undeserving of having a good home, seems to finally be resonating with a wide audience. 

Seeing the many celebrities openly share their affection for old dogs on camera helps bring attention to these sugar faces. Empathy is learned. It's important to show how special senior dogs are, and why they deserve our care.

Every week while taking care of little guys like Shiro here, I have added to my studies about life and dogs. It has been an eye-opening learning experience.

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Here are a few things I've learned caring about old dogs this year:

  • When you take care of an old dog, you might get repaid in kisses, warm cuddles, or just happy eyes
  • Taking an old dog for a walk can translate into you both trotting or actually running an entire city block
  • Old dogs enjoy quiet time and alone time, just like us, but it doesn't mean they don't want you around
  • Little old dogs can be very good at asking for attention, sometimes more effectively than their larger cohorts
  • Just because a dog is considered old doesn't mean they can't be as playful and silly as a puppy

Old dogs have been able to make me laugh first thing in the morning, something not many people have accomplished. If you get a chance to study with older dogs, and by that I mean spend some quality one-on-one time together, do it! You won't regret it.

It's been months since I've been getting up early to take the morning shift with Muttville mutts, and even when it was raining, I haven't regretted volunteering for a minute. I never know what my lesson will be each day from these furry old professors, and I love it!!

~ Sharon Castellanos

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Discover why senior dogs rule: Fall in love with Shiro!

A wonderful effect from playing with older dogs is lower blood pressure. When I play with fluffy white cotton-ball dogs like Shiro, I find myself visibly relaxing. Look at his expression, and you can imagine mine!

Meet the adorable Mr. Shiro! This sweet, terrier mix guy wins over everyone he meets with his spunky personality and adorable looks.

Shiro’s favorite things are going on walks, playing with squeaky toys, and eating yummy snacks.

He is the perfect medium size and has a very soft, all white coat.

This boy is full of fun energy and would make a wonderful companion! Shiro is 13 years young and weighs 17 pounds.

Fall in love with him at Muttville on Rescue Row in San Francisco!

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Little old dog plays very big role in Bay Area dental practice

Dogs are amazing adaptable creatures. They enrich our lives in many ways, including easing our stress and lifting our moods. When you're a dog person, even if you haven't been around a dog since childhood, engaging and handling one can transport you to a place of familiarity and comfort.

Enter Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and a stray Papillon from the streets of Hayward, California scooped up in September...

When a dog at Muttville gets adopted their new life often starts with a different name, in addition to a new home, as part of the matchmaking process. In the case of Babs, the Papillon, her name changed after she was adopted by Dr. Garrett's mother, and then again after Dr. Garrett moved her mom into an assisted living home and Babs took on the role of dental comfort dog.

Here's a special interview with Bay Area dentists, Dr Cameron T Garrett DDS and Debra Garrett RDH who realized a little old dog could play a very big role in their dental practice.

Karma, making dental patients happier

They tell us repeatedly that having Karma there makes the whole dental experience that much better.


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Discover why senior dogs rule: Fall in love with Harold!

Come check out this cutie pie! Harold is ready to find his perfect home, can it be with you? He’s a super mellow fellow that likes to live life in the slower lane.

Harold loves to spend his afternoons taking naps in the sunshine and going for leisurely strolls around the block. If you’re looking for an easygoing old dog to love, Harold is the boy for you!

Here’s what Harold’s foster has to say about this special boy:

“He’s easy going, likes cars, doesn’t mind stairs, very nice dog, and he loves lying in my lap, and when you stop petting him and he wants more, he’ll put his paw on you or rub his head in your hand. He likes warm/soft beds & blankets, and is very happy to share a bed with you! He’s ok with stairs but I sometimes carry him. He is good with other dogs, no problems. He barked a bit at a cat in the house, but no real problems. Very nice dog, will make someone a great companion.”

We think Harold is between 9-11 years young, weighing about 20 lbs.

Find him at Muttville on Rescue Row in San Francisco!

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Discover why senior dogs rule: Fall in love with Kibble!

Just one look into Kibble’s soulful eyes and you can tell he has so much love to give. This precious, delicate boy hasn’t had the best of luck lately, but he’s happy to now be safe and sound at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue.

He's a sweet little man ready to snuggle the winter blues away, or just watch Netflix and chill.


Need a hug? A snuggle buddy for the cool temperatures? Kibble @muttvillesf is your man! He's why #seniordogsrock #shihtzu

A photo posted by grouchypuppy (@grouchypuppy) on

Kibble is the type of senior boy that likes to sit back, relax and watch all the hustle and bustle happen around him.

Though he likes going for his short walks around the block, Kibble is happiest laying by your feet or right in your lap! This lovebug can’t wait to finally find his forever home.

We think Kibble is between 12-14 years young, weighing about 12 lbs.

Find him at Muttville on Rescue Row in San Francisco!

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