Getting old can be as difficult for pets as it is for humans. Furthermore, animals toward the end of their lives have a slim chance of being adopted into a forever home. That’s where Maryland’s House with a Heart comes in. The pet sanctuary is similar to a hospice for dogs and cats.
Sher Polvinale created House with a Heart in 2006 with her late husband, Joe, but it’s a lot of work giving so much love. Polvinale now relies on on volunteers, donations, and grants for help.
“It definitely takes a village. In the very beginning, I did this on my own, but it just became too much. Sometimes we have as many as 20 or 30 dogs here,” Polvinale told FOX 5.
One of the hardest things is becoming attached to the loveable animals with so little time left.
It takes a strong heart to care for an advanced age, end-of-life pet because the inevitable heartache comes that much quicker.
Every one of them is dear to Polvinale, as evidenced by the display by the stairway of Polvinale’s home. She calls it her “Stairway to Heaven” -- A collection of photos of all the animals that became part of this family.
“You get very attached,” she said as she holds back the tears. “Like I said, that’s the mission – you take care of them the very best you can until you have to let them go.”
Because whether you walk on two legs or four, we all deserve comfort, love, and dignity until the very end.
If you’re looking to find a temporary or permanent home for a senior pet, or are interested in donating or becoming a volunteer, you can head to the House with a Heart website.
Watch the video to see what gives this house a heart.