Russell Clothier, who used to teach high school physics, started Shep’s Haven so that older dogs who couldn’t find homes could have a nice place to live out their last years.
If they were taken in, it would be a plus.
Since it opened, the non-profit dog sanctuary has taken in about 30 dogs. This week, the 21st dog was adopted.
Suzie, a pointer mix who was 12 years old and had been staying with a woman who had to move into a nursing home, was adopted after only a week.
Clothier said of adoptions, “It’s really taken off.” “I didn’t think there would be so much change.
“Even with the lockdown, there have been more people adopting dogs. We are very happy that so many people like the older dogs.”
Shep’s Place is named after Clothier and his wife’s beagle, who is 11 years old and moved into their home last year with a bunch of other dogs.
He doesn’t spend much time at the dog sanctuary next door because he has trouble adjusting to the constant flow of dogs.
Clothier said that the longest a dog has stayed at the sanctuary is almost a year, but most only stay for a few months. Currently, the sanctuary is taking care of five dogs (one of which is in a foster home).
They have had as many as ten, but six or seven would be fine. Before the covid hit, volunteers were there almost every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
It rained and rained and rained all spring long. “It was hard for the volunteers to get the dogs out,” Clothier said. “It’s just brown, muddy, and crunchy in the winter.”
A new surface with a gravel base under the fake grass would soak up rain (and dog pee), cutting down on the time it takes to clean up. Shep’s Place is on track to raise $15,000 for the project, and they’re almost there.
Clothier said, “It should be nice for them all year.”