Northside SF
Cover Story
My Mutt Profiles
Lauren and Ezra
WHO: Lauren Hauptman and Jeff Weinberger

Your Mutt: Ezra, a “Tadoo-dle” (terrier-dachshund-poodle) according to Lauren; a mix of “sheep and cat,” according to Jeff

Your Mutt’s story: I was volunteering at Pets Unlimited walking dogs. We were ready for a dog of our own, and one day I saw this little guy in quarantine wearing a sweater with holes in it – definitely not love at first sight, but definitely something. He was an owner-surrender at a high-kill shelter in the East Bay and had likely been abused. (Lauren)

What does My Mutt mean to you? I was shopping at the Pet Food Express on California Street – I saw the big posters and I loved the idea. I wanted to support Pets Unlimited – volunteering there changed my life; it was truly the best thing I ever did. (Lauren)

Liz and Rex
WHO: Liz Brooking

Your Mutt: Rex, a 12½-year-old purebred miniature poodle

Your Mutt’s story: I was volunteering at Muttville because I love what they do, helping to find homes for senior dogs. Rex came to Muttville because his guardian died, and her son couldn’t care for him. When he arrived he was in such a terrible state of neglect that the groomer said she had never seen anything like it. He had an apricot-sized ball of food and hair tangled in his teeth and half his teeth fell out; he had swallowed part of a leash and his claws had grown into his paw pads. I took him home for Muttville founder Sherri Franklin when she had to go away, and four days turned into forever. He’s the best companion – it’s a joy to see how he’s blossomed.

What does My Mutt mean to you? It was my way of contributing to Muttville because of the wonderful work they do giving a second chance to senior dogs.

Rebecca, Digby and Tucker
WHO: Rebecca Katz

Your Mutts: Digby and Tucker, terrier mixes

Your Mutts’ stories: Tucker came from a high-volume shelter in the Central Valley; Digby was found wandering in the Mission and wound up at San Francisco Animal Care & Control [where Katz is the director]. ACC was holding Digby as a possible choice for President Obama [because he had hair, not fur, and the Obamas’ daughters have allergies]. Though Digby was ultimately edged out by First Dog Bo, he won me over and became Tucker’s new brother.

What does My Mutt mean to you? My Mutt is amazing. It helps so many organizations, from small nonprofits to large shelters. It helps raise much-needed funds and showcases that shelter animals are not broken; it’s a great way to profile the animals and bring attention to the work we are doing. Pet Food Express is hands-on. They’re so available, and they never brag about all the great things they do. For example, they did a ton to help the animals of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and they sent supplies to the Peninsula Humane Society after the San Bruno blast.

left to right: Lily, Tom, Paula, Jack, and Georgia
WHO: Tom Sinkovitz; his wife, Paula; and their twins, Lily and Jack

Your Mutt: Georgia, a miniature Labradoodle

Your Mutt’s story: The kids started asking for a dog when they were three – we told them we’d consider it when they were older. We held out for ten years and eleven months. My daughter, Lily, does her part to support animal rescue – she runs a lemonade stand and all the money goes to Friends of San Francisco Animal Care and Control. Both the kids and I have asthma so we had to get a dog with hair, not fur. I would have rescued a dog in a minute, but we just couldn’t risk getting attached to a dog and having to give it back because we were all allergic to it, so we got Georgia from a breeder. I remember being sent to the Oakland Coliseum to interview A’s manager Tony La Russa about his daughters suing him for back child support. We entered the big, empty stadium and I look up and see La Russa running around the top bleachers. We head up there and he says, “You’re here to talk about the cats!” And I say, “No, we’re here to ask how you feel about your daughters suing you.” His face just fell, and I felt horrible. It turns out he was up there trying to catch feral cats, and we did go back and do a story about it. I’ve had a longstanding relationship with his organization, ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation), ever since. (Tom)

What does My Mutt mean to you? I’m a big Pet Food Express fan. They go out of their way to help you. When we got Georgia, one of the guys took the food she was supposed to eat and went through every food they had to find the right ingredients. And they do amazing philanthropic work. (Paula)

Pet Food Express is a great company and My Mutt is a wonderful program [the Sinkovitz family’s My Mutt poster will benefit Tony La Russa’s ARF]. Animals change your life in so many ways. We take Georgia to Crissy Field where we’ve met new friends, and we all know our dogs’ names. We’re members of a new club – “The Dog Club.” For two people who were so reluctant, having Georgia has been amazing. (Tom)

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March 2012
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