Sixteen years ago, Lynne Tingle launched a rescue she named after her beloved Australian shepherd Milo, deaf and blind due to "lethal white" syndrome, which didn't interfere with his joie de vivre a bit. "He was an amazing character, always happy, loving life," she recalls.
The Milo Foundation pioneered the concept of bringing adoptable dogs from outlying shelters to the Bay Area. "Every weekend I'd drive a van loaded with Aussie, border collie, cattle dog, Lab and similar mixes and purebred dogs and puppies down to the Bay Area, where people would be lined up ready and eager to adopt," Tingle says.
Today, Milo operates a sanctuary in Mendocino County that houses dogs waiting for their homes, as well as an adoption center in Point Richmond. While Milo remains a great place to find dogs from the working breeds, it's also saving a lot of little guys.
"One of the most noticeable differences in the euthanasia lists that many shelters send out weekly is the number of small, cuddly lapdogs on the lists; poodles, Chihuahua mixes, terriers, shih-tzu types, Pomeranians," Tingle says. "Sixteen plus years ago, there were very few small dogs in the shelter systems; rarely did they need rescue. Now pits and Chihuahuas are the number one and two breed types being killed in shelters. And with the economy the way it is, it is so much worse for all types of very adoptable animals."
If you'd like to help, Milo is a great place to adopt, and also a great place to volunteer. Find details on all these options at www.milofoundation.org.