The volunteers arrive at 11, and take care of poop scooping to yard work to helping with meds and even grooming. One such volunteer, Harriet Sackler, transports dogs to the hospital, and she also is there with each animal at the moment he or she passes on so that they are not alone. At the time National Geographic filmed this piece, there were two dog residents, Happy and Vickie, that were unable to walk, and so the center provides them with wheels for their back legs. Once hooked up to their apparatus, the dogs are able to run around happily in the back yard. Another resident has incontinence issues, and so the center provides the diapers and the changings.
One dog receives regular respiratory therapy with an inhaler. The treatments and medications are costly; one of the dachshunds, said Polvinare, costs about $8,000 to take care of. He had a series of dental surgeries and then an infection in his spine, possibly as the result of the dental surgeries. However, the money is found, either through donations or, “short term care” that’s already in the bank account.
Every dog that has stayed and passed on at the center has a colorful framed photo hanging on the wall with their names above the images. Polvinare calls this area the “Stairway to Heaven.” Director Polvinare says, “There is no longer the worry that they’ll be passed along again. This is it, the end for them. But it’s a happy end.”
You can learn more about The House With A Heart Senior Pet Sanctuary by visiting their website at https://housewithaheart.com/.