The House With a Heart

An arthritic poodle, a dachshund with wheels to help him get around, a blind husky. These are the greeters at House With A Heart Senior Pet Sanctuary in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Old tired tails still wag happily and graying muzzles sniff curiously at visitors to this unassuming little house with some very special residents. In 2006 founder and director Sher Polvindale opened up her home and her heart to senior dogs who were abandoned or had lost an owner, sometimes to go to their own retirement homes. Sher knew these older dogs have little chance of being adopted, so she turned her home into a doggie retirement home. Here these elderly pups are cared for and loved until the end of their lives in a comfy cage free home filled with love.

The day starts early for Shar and co-director Harriet Sackler. 6 am is time for breakfast and morning meds, followed by a midmorning outside romp and plenty of naps on soft couches and dog beds .Special diets, breathing treatments,and physical therapy fill the day, and volunteers come to help shovel poop and change diapers and give belly rubs. The work is sometimes heartbreaking, but always rewarding. At House With A Heart, Death is a regular occurance. But no one goes alone, they are cuddled and loved until the last breath. Pictures of past residents line the staircase, no one is ever forgotten.

Caring for these geriatric dogs is expensive, but no one is ever put down because treatment is too costly or too much trouble. Here they can have happy final days and receive the care they need. House With A Heart operates purely on donations and you can help. You can donate directly at or when you shop at Amazon. Go to and Amazon will donate with every purchase. Please consider adopting an older dog, you can save a life. They still have lots of love to give!

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