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February 15, 2021

Man with ALS Helps His Senior Dog Find a New Home Three Days before Passing Away

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A dog named Pawpaw needed a new home in the spring of 2019. He had been living happily with a man named John Weston in San Francisco for the last three years.

Since he was diagnosed with ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, John Weston had to use a wheelchair. As Pawpaw put his paws on the wheelchair, he enjoyed petting him.

When Weston's health suddenly deteriorated, he had to find Pawpaw a loving forever home before passing away. Luckily, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue was available to help.

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As a longtime animal advocate and rescue worker, Sherri Franklin founded Muttville in 2007. From the comfort of her home, Franklin rescued 27 dogs that year.

Over the years, Muttville has grown into an organization known nationwide that rescues over 1000 dogs a year. Muttville has been recognized as a global leader in animal rescue.

Muttville's charitable efforts have been recognized by 7X7 magazine as "San Francisco's Favorite Charity" and won numerous "Beast of the Bay Awards."

San Francisco's mayor had declared May 10 as "Muttville Senior Dog Rescue Day," and the American Red Cross appointed Muttville a San Francisco Hero in 2012.

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They find Muttville's approach to caring for senior dogs refreshing.

Meanwhile, Franklin had put Pawpaw with Weston since three years prior. Franklin had promised to help if he developed health issues and could not continue caring for his dog.

"I really wanted John to be taken care of and his feelings to really be taken into consideration," Franklin told TODAY. "It was just this overwhelming sense of duty to do this for him."

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On social media, Muttville released a video of Weston and Pawpaw showing potential adopters what they look like, as well as a reminder that Weston would love to meet adopters.

Although Bernie Knobbe and Tim Belavich are based in Los Angeles, they have already adopted three other senior dogs from Muttville. They find Muttville's approach to caring for senior dogs refreshing.

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Belavich and Knobbe adopted Pawpaw. The couple has a great devotion to Pawpaw because they made a promise to Weston, who passed away three days after they adopted the dog.

In line with Pawpaw's story, Sandi has also found a family after spending six years at a shelter. She was adopted recently by Erin and Carrie Rhodes, who fell in love with the dog after meeting her.

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