What happens to life after retirement? Travel, maybe? Or perhaps spending time with friends and family?
But what about making time to cuddle senior doggos? But perhaps considering adoption is too much. No worries, because a San Francisco-based non-profit, Muttville, allows seniors the chance to love on grey-whiskered pups at their facility for free.
Their mission states,
“Muttville’s mission is to give senior dogs a second chance at life.
We rescue them, give them the care they need, find them loving homes, and spread the word about how WONDERFUL they are!”
And they’re also giving senior citizens a second chance at receiving love from these elderly four-legged friends.
While Muttsville does offer adoption services, they also provide monthly events with the Cuddle Club.
What’s the Cuddle Club?
It takes place 2-4 times a month and open to all senior citizens. The shelter has a handicap-accessible cuddle room where they can spend time holding, loving, and petting Muttville’s dogs. But act fast, because these events are so huge, many senior organizations are on a waiting list!
In 2007, Sherri Franklin, a longtime rescue worker, started her unique organization (they rescue senior dogs, age 7 and up) from her house and it has grown!
Franklin told Mental Floss,
“This program is a win-win.
Our senior dogs get love and attention while our senior citizens, some isolated, have created a community where they get out and socialize and get lots of unconditional love.”
The best part about the Cuddle Club, is there’s no obligation to adopt, especially for seniors who may live in assisted living homes that don’t allow pets.
Each visitor can choose to snuggle up on the couch, walk the puppers, or socialize with other seniors who love dogs as much as the next person.
Muttville volunteer Beth Hofer told Today,
“I think the dogs are giving some of our guests a sense of value, because sometimes a dog will come down and they’re nervous, and they start shaking, and over the course of 15 or 20 minutes, the dog quits shaking and has fallen asleep on that person’s lap.
You can just see how happy and fulfilled that person is that they were able to help that dog.”
Not only are these folks spending good quality time, they’re also reaping much desired health benefits. Taking care of a pet helps seniors remain active, lower depression, and gives them purpose.
Franklin says about the program…
“Studies have shown that holding and petting a dog lowers cortisol [a stress hormone] in your body and lowers blood pressure, and we see stress eased from both the dogs and our visiting humans at our Cuddle Club events.”
What happens if a visitor falls in love with a dog?
As mentioned, they do have adoption services.
In fact, Muttsville will wave their $200 adoption fee for anyone over the age of 62.
They also throw in a care package “which includes a harness and collar, a leash, dog bowls, a starter supply of food and medication, a bed, and, if needed, a doggy gate and stairs.”
This is certainly a win-win for all!
What do you think? Would you like a program like this near you? Let us know in the comments!