Dogtime salutes Tennessee’s Muttley Crue.
How did your organization get started?
The two founders of Muttley Crue had been volunteers and foster moms for other Memphis-area rescue organizations, but had some pretty strong ideas of their own and wanted to be able to call the shots. They were also veterinary technicians, so had a few special resources at their disposal. They founded Muttley Crue in about 2006. It is run solely by volunteers and financially supported only through adoption fees, special fundraisers, and donations from the public.
What is your mission?
The mission of Muttley Crue is to rescue homeless, abused, sick, abandoned, hungry, or otherwise neglected dogs (and a few cats), rehabilitate them physically, emotionally, and behaviorally, and then strive to make the perfect match with a new, adoptive family.
How do most of your animals find their way to you?
Most Muttley Crue fosters are sick or injured strays in fairly immediate peril that find their way to us through the vet clinic where the founder works or that volunteers “discover” just going about their normal, daily lives. A few are surrendered by their owners because they just can’t be bothered with a pet any longer.
What happens to the animals once they are in your care?
Volunteers take these babies in and assess their physical, mental, and emotional needs. Once these needs are identified – frankly – the needs get met! Period. Corners are never cut on their level of care. These needs range from correcting aggression or other behavioral problems, providing intensive medical attention which may even include amputations or risky heartworm treatment. Sometimes all that is needed is just a comfy bed and the knowledge that humans are meant to provide food, love, and a safe, caring environment. At a minimum, though, new rescues are given a complete physical, spayed/neutered, given vaccines, de-wormed, heartworm checked (and treated if need be), microchipped, given flea, tick, and heartworm prevention, and generally spoiled rotten.
Our goal is to show them that humans are worthy of their trust. This stage could take a couple of weeks. This could take years. For a few, the wounds are just too deep, and it never happens. These very special critters simply live out the rest of their precious lives in sanctuary with their foster families. For most, though, time really does heal these wounds and they become ready for new, “furever” homes with a new family. Applications are accepted on these critters and potential owners go through a rigorous screening process to make sure the match between the dog and the family is a perfect one. Only then, will the whole process be complete. ….and then it starts all over with the next dog in need.
Tell us about a particularly compelling animal or inspiring rescue.
“Charley” was found stray in August 2009. It was estimated she was somewhere between twelve and eighteen months old and some sort of Pit mix. She was extremely emaciated – weighing just 24 pounds. She had been shot in the abdomen numerous times and according to our vet it was an attempt to kill her. Poor Charley had also been hit by a car and her right femoral head was shattered. She needed a costly operation if she was ever to walk again.
Charley stayed at the vet and put on some much-needed weight. While there, she received her vaccinations, spay, and lots of love and attention. She soon grew healthy and strong enough to be released to a foster home. While there, it was discovered that Charley was a total sweetheart despite all the hunger, physical pain, and mistreatment she had endured. She had faced horrific cruelty, yet still embraced life with a good nature and thumping tail. She was very much worth fighting for!
Charley’s medical expenses ran over $1,500, but Muttley Crue took to the streets (and the internet) and with the outpouring of support for Charley, the funds were secured! Soon after, she underwent the orthopedic surgery. It was a total success and Charley could not only walk, she could run!
By October, Charley was cleared by the vet to be put up for adoption! She had literally doubled her weight and was enjoying life now that she was healthy and no longer in pain. It turned out she LOVED to play and was great with kids and other foster dogs. A wonderful couple in Arkansas adopted her. She still lives with them and her 2 doggie siblings on 3 acres with a lake. They swim often and her adoptive mom works from home, so Charley gets tons of love and attention all day, every day, just as she deserves!