How this hero is making senior dog adoptions happen during pandemic’s social distancing

Dog adopters now have something beautiful to look forward to despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Though a lot of things seem difficult to achieve nowadays because of many restrictions, dog adoptions was still made possible by CNN hero Sherri Franklin.

13 years ago, Franklin established Mutville Senior Dog Rescue in hopes of rescuing senior dogs and changing the way people treat and perceive them. She worked so hard with her team which made them save over 4,200 senior dogs. They also aim to find these dogs comfortable homes and loving families.

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

Though animal shelters are now allowed to open in California, Franklin decided to just close their shelter and do things virtually. She couldn’t risk the health of her employees and volunteers as well as the adopters.

They immediately made a new protocol to adopt out the dogs while practicing social distancing. The team started doing virtual adoption meetings via Facetime or Zoom. In these meetings, they talk to the foster parents and introduce them to a dog they are interested in. Franklin said that people were so excited and looked like they wanted to touch the dogs right away.

Adopters give these senior dogs a second chance in life.
Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

It is amazing how responded to the shelter’s virtual effort of finding foster homes for their dogs. They quickly found foster parents who adopted 135 dogs. They used to get 20 applications in a week but since they started the virtual process, they got over 200 applications each week.

While there are lots of dog lovers everywhere, it seems that the pandemic has increased people’s need for love and comfort. “It is a time when people are looking for comfort, continuity and something they can focus on other than the crazy news,” said Franklin.

Adopters give senior dogs forever homes.
Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

This is also what made Zahar and Chris decide to adopt a dog from Franklin’s animal shelter. “For a lot of people during this period, nothing exciting is happening. So it was nice to have a whole new thing to explore over the past few weeks,” Chris said.

Franklin and her team came out with necessary measures to protect everyone during the adoption. They bathe the dogs before they drop them off to the foster parents’ place. All the dogs wore brand-new harnesses and when it’s time to hand them off to the adopters; they were safely clipped to a fence. This ensured that both parties could maintain a 6-feet distance from each other.

Senior adopters led by Sherri.
CNN Hero Sherri Franklin | Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

Now that their shelter is empty, Franklin hopes that it will also happen to more animal shelters. She also hopes that once this pandemic is over, people will not forget the importance of dogs in people’s lives and continue to look after them.

Surely, Sherri Franklin deserves the CNN’s Hero of the Year award. She did not only rescue senior dogs and save them from euthanasia but she also found them homes and changed the lives of their foster parents.

Whether or not we are dog lovers, we should still recognize the great things they do for people and the world. If you have one, you should be grateful for having a cuddly buddy which will protect and love you at all times.