By TODAY correspondent Jill Rappaport
Tucked away on a hill in Gaithersburg, Md., lies a very special animal sanctuary. Here, 30 dogs, two cats and even a horse share a home and a common bond. All of these animals are elderly, and some are even disabled.
The House With a Heart Senior Pet Sanctuary is the brainchild of Sher Polvinale, who opens up both her home and her big heart to all of these beloved creatures for the rest of their lives. Sadly, the animals Polvinale looks after were given up because the owners wouldn't or couldn't be bothered to care for them in their later years.
Housing and caring for several aged and ailing animals is physically and financially daunting, but Polvinale is able to make it happen thanks to the donations and work of wonderful benefactors and volunteers. She’s even able to host a mobile medical unit on the property twice a week, for regular checkups and, if necessary, even surgery, just to ensure the animals’ well-being. Polvinale incurs all costs not covered by donations.
These animals are not up for adoption, as it is Polvinale’s intention that they spend every beautiful day here until their final breath. The sanctuary -- which is at full capacity -- is filled with toys, has a huge yard for "playtime" and a very spacious kitchen. Mealtime makes for quite a sight, as Polvinale lovingly prepares 30 separate bowls, with several different foods and various medications.
Each day is new and exciting for this remarkable woman, who considers herself the lucky one to be able to care for these "fur angels." As she says, it’s “a true gift.”
Learn more about the House with a Heart Senior Pet Sanctuary at their website.