Homeless dogs in Scottdale, Ariz., will soon have a new place to seek refuge, thanks to a local farm that specializes in horse therapy.
The “Almost Home Dog Hotel,” created by Hunkapi Programs Executive Director Terra Schaad, will provide pet guardians experiencing homelessness with a safe place to leave their beloved canine companions while they receive treatment and focus on getting back on their feet.
Schaad noted that many shelters and treatment programs do not allow people to bring their companion animals with them.
“One of the many barriers to [homeless people] seeking treatment or getting into housing was if they had a pet,” Schaad told AZFamily. “We knew that we could answer that call.”
The dogs will have rooms at the farm. A renovated barn on the property will soon be able to house between 12 and 15 dogs, and their care will be integrated with their guardians’ treatment.
The ultimate goal is reuniting the dogs and their pet parents.
“Get the human well and get the human stable,” Schaap told 12 News. “And we can take care of their dogs here as a community and have them ready and prepared to return to their [guardian].”
The dogs can stay for 12 weeks for guardians seeking treatment from Community Bridges, Inc, a local program helping people detox from opioids or alcohol. Midwestern University will provide wellness checks for the dogs. The city of Phoenix also is partnering on the project too.
This heartwarming story reminds us that it’s important to look out for both animals and their guardians during these difficult times.