Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Week of 8/21/16 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Anthony from Tractor Supply loads the "IAM4PETS" Toyota pick up
Fall is in the air and Desert Haven Animal Refuge is preparing for the Winter ahead.  All summer long, the staff at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe has collected well-worn pillows, comforters and blankets for the fur-babies at the No-Kill sanctuary. In the Cool Cat Neighborhood, the pillows fit the individual condos perfectly. The comforters and blankets are great inside the igloos and the Kitty Motel, all of them located in the Cat Walks and Cat Patio. Also coming from Paws & Claws: well-worn sweat shirts and pants, etc, that we add to the kitties bed areas for more comfort. Thanks to the thoughtful people who donate these items to Paws & Claws specifically for the fur-babies who reside at the sanctuary, our Desert Haven team is able to keep all our little ones warm and cozy through the coldest months of the year.

This week’s wish list: milk bones and canned dog food for the residents of Dog Town - also canned cat food for the Cool Cat Neighborhood. Our felines appreciate their cat treats. Their most favorite ones are those that are soft inside. Apparently, the hard-all-around treats taste too much like regular cat food to be considered special treats to them.  We are also looking for a good used swamp cooler and lawn mower, chain link, wire and wood fencing and posts. If you can help, call us at 575-894-2639, e-mail us at We can pick up if needed

Larry and Kevin unload the Tractor Supply donation
This week’s kudos go to Tractor Supplies Co. The attractive and customer-friendly store opened early this year in the “old” ALCO building on Broadway. The store recently donated high-quality dog food to Desert Haven. Thank you, Anthony, not only for ensuring that the pet food contribution went to our organization but also for loading the heavy bags into the IM4pets Toyota truck. The little truck is almost 29 years old now, still running, still proud to donate all of its spunk to our animal welfare organization. Its owner continues to maintain it completely at her expense, including the gas it takes to run it, all of it to benefit the organization. 

Check-out our  Facebook page for more information - and photos - on the latest contribution from the Tractor Supply Co. contribution.  
Check-out our web site at   Our mailing address is: Desert Haven Animal Refuge, POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Week of 8/14/`6 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

 This week, the Sierra County Humane Society is reminding its members and animal loving friends who reside or vacation in our area to save their Bullocks receipts for the animal welfare organization and Desert Haven Animal Refuge, the no-kill animal sanctuary that it owns and operates. Bullocks Grocery Store is well-known throughout this area to be one of its strongest community oriented businesses.  Not only Bullocks is valued for being customer oriented, but it also financially supports local 501-c-3 non-profit organizations such as ours with its Cash-for-Clubs program.  The program has been in existence for many years now. When you save your Bullocks receipts for our animal welfare organization and you drop them off at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe, the Williamsburg Post Office or the TorC Public Library,  Josephine, our organization Charter Member and long-standing volunteer, routinely collects them.  She also tallies them for us.  We receive $2 per each thousand dollars worth of Bullocks receipts that we receive. The money collected helps fund the organization’s spay-neuter and spay-a-stray programs. 

We also collect aluminum cans. Our can corral is located adjacent to Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe. Kevin, Jack and Larry ensure that the cans are routinely transported and redeemed for $$ at a recycling center. The money collected also helps fund the SCHS sterilization program. 

Applications for the SCHS Spay-Neuter program continue to be made available at the TorC Police Station since our organization started the program in 1991.

This week’s wish list: Canned cat food – dog milk bones and treats - swamp cooler and lawn mower in good working condition - someone to help install a sink and replace a window in the kitchen of the Eagle Point mobile home. If you can help in some way, let us know. We can be reached at 575-894-2639 and at  Visit us at and Our mailing address is: Desert Haven Animal Refuge, POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Week of 8/7/16 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

 The Sierra County Humane Society & Desert Haven Animal Refuge has been in existence since 1989 and 1999 respectively. The entire operation of the non-profit animal welfare organization is funded by the kindness and generosity of private and business entities who believe in helping us help animals-in-need in our area. 

With the weather getting cooler, the team at the no-kill sanctuary is starting to work on the several projects outlined since earlier this year. The fenced addition to Scruffy and Lucy’s exercise yard is in full swing. Jack, Kevin, Larry and Keith worked together last Tuesday afternoon. They have already made huge progress. While they are installing the chain link fencing, perhaps a local handy person could donate time to build the two gates that we need to install on each end of the yard extension.  Someone may prefer to donate a tall gate or two to help complete the project.   

Several major projects are on our priority list at the sanctuary: we need to  install a sink and replacing a window in the kitchen of the Eagle Point mobile home.  We have both the replacement sink and window.  We now are looking for the very handy person to take on either one of the two projects.  It was started many months ago, but never completed. Without the sink and the window, the mobile home can’t be used.  Another major project is the Rainbow Bridge Pet Cemetery sign located in front of the property and facing Hwy 187. An especially violent wind storm destroyed the sign sometime last year. Soon afterwards, a local artist committed to create a colorful sign for our animal welfare organization. It’s been many months and there is no more word – and no sign - from the artist.     

We need volunteer help at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe ( The business is owned and operated by our animal welfare organization. It is located adjacent to Family Dollar in TorC.  Please save your Bullocks receipts for us. They can be dropped-off at the store during business hours. The funds generated when we redeem them at the Bullocks grocery store help fund our organization’s Spay-Neuter program.
Visit us at, and  Contact us at 575-894-2639. E-mail us at  Our mailing address is: Desert Haven Animal Refuge, POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.   

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Week of 7/24/16 Humane Happenings

The 2016 Sierra County Humane Society newsletter has been mailed and already, the response is heartwarming. We try our very best to send a newsletter every year, usually earlier in the year, inviting our members and animal loving friends to continue to support our organization in any way they can. Our non-profit animal welfare organization receives no funding from local, state or federal government. We operate independently, just as any other animal welfare organization in the US. We work very hard at bringing the revenues needed to make a difference. Private and business contributions are crucial in helping us help animals in need in our area. We also bring in revenues from our hard work at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe, the non-profit business owned and operated by the organization. These combined revenues directly support our community oriented programs, including Desert Haven, the companion animal sanctuary that the organization also owns and operates. 

This week, we wish to thank Sharon who works at Sandia Labs in Albuquerque.   Sharon, together with her father Bill of Elephant Butte, has been one of our organization’s most steadfast supporters. Over the years, among other strong shows of support, Sharon has made a point to keep our entire organization computer system updated with the latest software and hardware upgrades – all of it on her own time and at her own expense. Her computer technical expertise, along with the time & energy she regularly and selflessly donates to our animal welfare cause, has been an important part of the success of our organization.  Sharon, we are grateful. 

This week’s wish list: fencing material, steel and wooden posts, wood and plywood, etc. to help build a much needed addition to one of the exercise yards that is currently occupied by several large, energetic canines.  For more information, contact us at 575-894-2639 or e-mail us at  If you prefer to send a contribution earmarked for the project, our mailing address is: Desert Haven Animal Refuge, POB 638, Williamsburg,  NM 87942.   

Desert Haven is open to visitors every Tuesday, from 9 AM to 4 PM or by appointments.   Visit us at, and 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Week of 7/17/16 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Lorena and her daughter, Sophia
 49 years old Lorena passed away suddenly very recently. She was a remarkable individual, with a zest for clean and healthy living and a passion for animals that everyone who knew her well respected and admired her for.  Lorena became actively involved with the Sierra County Humane Society in 1990, while she was finishing her college education in Las Cruces, NM. That’s when she decided that she could help make a real difference for companion animals by doing her part as we were getting an animal welfare organization off the ground amidst strong opposition from uninformed and narrow-minded local folks.  

As one of its very first Life Members, Lorena started helping out with a number of fundraising events, such as the organization’s Annual Have-a-Heart dinner dances, also its gigantic semi-yearly yard sales, among others. Soon after Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe had opened for business in 1997, she made a point to help out in any way she could there, as she was starting to make a living while raising her small baby girl as a new single mom.  She started and developed an internet store to benefit the organization, utilizing some of the most unique and searched-after items donated at the store.  

At some time, Lorena relocated to North Carolina with her beloved young daughter, to take advantage of a career opportunity not available locally. Still, she stayed involved in our animal welfare organization, always there to help out, this time as a member of the Advisory Board.  Lorena’s life was cut short at the peak of her career and of her life, but her memory will live on forever. 

To honor this remarkable individual whose passion for animals was overshadowed only by her passion for her little girl and her determination to live a life that truly mattered, Lorena’s family is inviting those whose lives she touched to make a donations to Desert Haven Animal Refuge, the sanctuary that Lorena helped get off the ground and then made a point to involve her very young daughter Sophia in supporting it and making it an integral part of their lives over the years. 

Desert Haven is open to visitors every Tuesday, from 9 AM to 4 PM.  Contact us at 575-894-2639 and  Visit us at, and  We can also be reached at PO Box 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Week of 6/19/16 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Desert Haven Animal Refuge is owned and operated by the Sierra County Humane Society. It recently rescued several new fur-boys and girls.  In the Cool Cat Neighborhood, young Vulcan is still settling in. He was at the end of one of his nine lives when he finally found his way to an animal lover’s back yard some weeks back – not a day too soon either, from the way he looked then. Vulcan was slowly brought back to health and his guardian angel kept hoping that the Feline-in-residence at the household would soon accept the new arrival.  That was not to be and Desert Haven is now home to Vulcan. 

Then there is Moshi, a tiny kitty dropped-off at the sanctuary some weeks back. The fur-baby was skinny and badly injured. His fresh, deep head-wound was especially concerning. The little guy was clinging to Life, so Desert Haven took him in. Kevin, who resides at the sanctuary, volunteered to care for the kitty at his home and to personally take charge of his recovery.



Last week, Henry and Ricky became official residents of the Cool Cat Neighborhood. One is jet black and the other is Siamese. Both are just weaned, absolutely charming and with totally different temperaments. They both need a loving home soon, hopefully together. 

Dog Town has been full of activity as well.  Lilly is a young Dashound mix with a wonderful personality. She has won the heart of everyone at Desert Haven. Lilly refuses to let anyone stay a stranger for long around her. Young Tico is tan and small - a Pomeranian mix. The friendly fur-boy looks very much like a little fox. Teddy is also a Pomeranian mix. He looks like a small, black teddy bear, and once in your arms, he also feels like one.  


Mickey is a terrier mix. Still a little shy, he is discovering safety and kindness at Desert Haven.  Jack the small terrier and Holly the Min Pin have welcomed him and all the other new residents inside their Pooch Play-yard and their Puppy Club House. 

Interested in finding more about the furry-residents of Desert Haven?  Check out our Desert Haven Animal Refuge Petfinder page. Contact us at 575-894-2639 and  Visit us at, and  We can also be reached at PO Box 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942. The sanctuary is open for visitors every Tuesday until 4 PM. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Week of 5/29/16 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Bullock's give back with their "Cash for Clubs" program

Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe is located next to Family Dollar in TorC. The non-profit business is owned and operated by the Sierra County Humane Society, which also owns and operates Desert Haven Animal Refuge.  P&C Thrift Shoppe receives in-kind donations from people from all over.  Some of Paws & Claws contributors reside as far as Albuquerque and Sante Fe. One of our most generous couples lives in Victoria, Texas.  They all remind us that they save their boxes of quality items for us, because we serve animals in need.  Many out-of-towners bring their items to the store when they get the chance to enjoy their time off at the lake.  How thoughtful!
Some of our local Paws & Claws shoppers often ask us what they can do to help our organization help companion animals in need in our area.  Aside from visiting the feathered and furry residents at Desert Haven Animal Refuge - something some folks are not able to do because they lack transportation - there are indeed other ways to get involved, sometimes directly from their own home.  Participate in the Cash-for Clubs program for example. It was initiated years ago by Bullocks Grocery Store to benefit 501-c-3 non-profit organizations like ours. When you shop at Bullocks, save your receipts and bring them to Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe. You can also drop them off at the TorC Public Library or the Williamsburg Post Office.  Every one thousand dollars worth of Bullocks receipts that our organization receives from Bullocks shoppers bring two dollars to help fund our programs. Josephine is a charter member of our animal welfare organization. She handles the Cash-for-Clubs program for our organization and we are grateful for her on-going involvement. The money made from the receipts go towards our spay-neuter and spay-a-stray programs. The management team at Bullocks Grocery Store in TorC is to be commended for this very generous – and successful - community service program. 

We collect aluminum cans through our Cans-for- Critters program. The bags of aluminum cans that you drop-off into the Can Corral located adjacent to Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe are redeemed locally by our volunteers and the funds generated go towards our Spay-Neuter program.   
Do you want to help our organization in other ways?  Contact us at 575-894-2639 or  Visit us at   You can also write to us at PO Box 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Week of 5/22/16 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Steve and Libby
 Little Libby is a Miniature Pinscher who arrived at Desert Haven a few days before Christmas 2015.  She was part of a group of small dogs needing immediate rescue. Aside from Libby, there was Holly the Miniature Pinscher, Jack the Jack Russell, Foxxy the tiny terrier and Roxie the Manchester Terrier. Surrounded by  much loving care, the Lucky-5 adapted well to the daily life at Dog Town. After all, they had plenty of indoor-outdoor space to investigate, including their spacious Puppy Play Yard and their very own Puppy Club House. It didn’t take long for the active little group to become the talk of the town – Dog Town that is.
Some weeks later, Roxie was adopted by a local Desert Haven volunteer, Shirley. Then it was Foxxy who moved out of Dog Town and in with his new human buddies. And this past Tuesday, it was Libby’s turn to be adopted. Libby met her new mentor and also Steve, the human companion with whom she will soon spend every minute of her life, as she officially became a “Service-Dog in-Training.  After she has successfully completed her six-weeks training in Las Cruces, Libby will become Steve’s official service dog.  How thrilling it is for all of us at Desert Haven, to know that our little fur-gal is on the threshold of a brand new life. We will soon be posting Libby’s journey on our Facebook page at
Interested in finding out about our other little residents in need of a forever home? Check us out at Are you local? Then come on down to Desert Haven on a Tuesday, between 10 AM and 4 PM. There, you will meet all our fur-babies and even walk some of them on a leash if you wish.  Someone on our team will take the opportunity to also give you any information you may be interested in, as you are finding out about each and every little resident at our no-kill sanctuary. Contact us at 575-894- 2639 or 1694.
We need volunteer helpers during business hours (Wed thru Sat 10:30 to 4:30 ) at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe. Routine and emergency veterinary care is always a must at our sanctuary, as we often rescue little ones with wounds and scars – from being badly neglected, abused, or abandoned to fend for themselves in our desert. Consider contributing to this worthwhile cause by sending a monthly contribution to our 501-c-3 non-profit animal welfare organization at PO Box 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942. Please help us help them.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Week of 5/15/16 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin
Missy, on her last day at Desert Haven before being adopted into her fur-ever home!
These are uplifting times for Sierra County residents who care about companion animals and their humane treatment. Those of us who started our animal welfare organization in the late 80’s remember how challenging it was to change the attitude that many local individuals had about companion animals.  Since then, our relentless efforts and dedication to the animal welfare cause ensured that compassion for companion animals, including those who are unwanted and abandoned, would strengthen and grow.  A couple of organizations intended to help animals in our area are currently getting off-the ground - a healthy sign that times have changed at last. The Facebook Page “Lost, Found and Rehoming ofAnimals in Sierra County” is a good example of this new, kinder mindset. Ellen, your hard work in starting and managing the Facebook page is immensely appreciated.    
Sierra County has indeed come a long way since the days when unwanted and abandoned dogs and cats were routinely gassed to death by the animal control officer inside a large steel box at the then-city shelter - an antiquated facility located at the local waste water plant.  Sadly, the mind-set of the City Leadership reflected the mind-set of many local folks in those days. It was a bold move at the time, to organize and build from the ground up an animal welfare organization strong enough to withstand the constant attempts to destroy it in launching personal attacks on its leaders. Until only a few years ago, we had to stand up against bigotry and small-minded ideas, also against the lack of willingness by some, including several prominent City and County leaders, to accept companion animals as sentient beings who felt emotions and pain and who deserved our compassion.  We didn’t give up – we made a difference in our corner of the world.   
The Sierra County Humane Society has been rightfully recognized over the years for organizing a successful animal welfare movement locally. In 1989, a small group of visionaries took on the challenge of carving a trail of compassion for those without a voice, by becoming their voice. And now, over twenty-seven years later, it is indeed refreshing to witness others who are following in our footsteps. Hurray for every new organization sincerely dedicated to the welfare of animals in Sierra County!
For more information on how to support the cause of companion animals in Sierra County, contact us at PO Box 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.
E-mail us at Connect with us at and  Visit our web site at www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge. com.    

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Weelk of 4/17/16 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

A feline friend at Desert Haven
This past week, Desert Haven Animal Refuge became home to Jennie-Mae, a Jack Russell rescued from an abusive situation. It didn’t take long for the little gal to start feeling safe and happy in her new environment. Another little life saved, and it felt good.
Vulcan arrived at Desert Haven this past Tuesday. The young black kitty with obvious Russian Blue ancestry has taken up temporary residency in the Howdy Room, the room-with-a-view especially reserved for all new feline arrivals. The cozy Howdy Room is conveniently located adjacent to the Cat Walk, itself part of the Neighborhood, the 1200 square feet indoor-outdoor feline living quarters. Soon, Vulcan will join the other feline residents. Interested in perhaps adopting a Desert Haven feline? Visit the sanctuary on a Tuesday when it is open to visitors, between 10 am and 4 pm.  Perhaps you prefer to peruse through Petfinder before you decide to visit. The photos and  stories of our little ones are posted at
Jane is a current work camper at Desert Haven. A genuine feline aficionado and  while residing at the sanctuary, Jane plans to update on Petfinder the information, including temperament and photos, on all the resident felines.
Would you like to become involved in our animal welfare cause? Visit the sanctuary on a Tuesday and take part in its activities for a couple of hours, share lunch with our team and then decide where you believe you can best make a difference.  Our organization offers several programs that serve the residents of TorC and surrounding communities.  Do you prefer to help out from your own home perhaps? What about organizing animal oriented projects, either on your own or as part of a community-minded group you belong to? With Walmart no longer donating their damaged bags and cans of pet food to our non-profit volunteer organization, the contributions of local and out-of-town supporters are even more crucial.  Among feathered and other furry residents, an average of 30 felines and 20 canines, all active and healthy, require plenty of good food daily.   And then they like treats of course!  Your donated pet food and treats can be dropped-off inside Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe from Wed through Sat, between 10:30 and 4:30.
Routine and emergency veterinary care is always a must. Consider contributing to this worthwhile cause by sending a monthly contribution to our 501-c-3 non-profit animal welfare organization at PO Box 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942. E-mail us at
Visit our web site at www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge. com.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Week of 4/4/16 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Desert Haven Animal Refuge rescued several canines recently. There is Big Red, a very loving young golden Retriever. Spike is a friendly Australian Cattle dog; he and Big Red reside in the Mighty Mutts exercise yard.  Sweet little Gracie, a Basset Hound-Dachshund is now sharing the Canine Cottage with Gentle Ben.  The story of Gentle Ben was posted on late last Fall.  The young black lab had been literally thrown out of a vehicle and abandoned at Percha Dam State park. The park was deserted at the time, aside from its seasonal caretaker who saw from a distance what had just happened. The dog was doomed to die if left to fend for himself, without food & shelter through the coming winter. It took many days to finally catch him and then transport him to the no-kill sanctuary.  We called him Gentle Ben, the perfect name for him.  Some weeks later, he was adopted locally, but then returned soon after a service dog became the newest addition to the adoptive family.  Apparently, the two fur-boys refused to get along. When his playmate Missy was adopted recently, Gentle Ben and the new little rescue Gracie became instant buddies.  Gentle Ben and Gracie are now enjoying life together while waiting to melt the heart of “Someone Special”.  Here at Desert Haven, we believe that “Life is always better with a buddy”. So, all of us who give our heart to all the sanctuary’s furry little residents always ensure that, while there, each one of them has at least one fur-buddy to share Life with.    
The Cool Cat Neighborhood will soon be home to two kitties rescued from a parking lot. The lady who rescued them already has two felines who refuse to accept the little guys, so there are cat-fights in the household.  Both felines are young.  Interested in perhaps adopting one of them? Or you prefer to adopt a couple of just-weaned kitties? Visit Desert Haven on a Tuesday, between 10 AM and 4 PM.
This week’s Priority wish list: canned and dry pet food, dog treats, also scratch and sunflower seeds. Consider contributing to this worthwhile cause by sending a monthly contribution to our 501-c-3 non-profit animal welfare organization at PO Box 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942. E-mail us at Visit our web site at www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Week of 3/27/16 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin
Burkes’ Outlet in TorC recently generously donated several steel clothing racks to Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe, the second-hand store owned and operated by the Sierra County Humane Society (SCHS). Burkes’ Outlet has supported our non-profit animal welfare organization for years now. Over time, Paws & Claws has gratefully accepted from the management of the local store valuable equipment, also brand new gift items and out-of-season clothing. We value the existence of Burkes’ Outlet in TorC and wish it continued success in our community.  
Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe is located adjacent to the TorC Family Dollar. Opened in 1997 in its old location on First Street, then relocated next to Family Dollar in 2008, the store is the major source of income for the Sierra County Humane Society and Desert Haven, the small no-kill sanctuary which the organization owns and operates.  
 It’s truly amazing that some local vocals still confuse the Sierra County Humane Society with Sierra Animal Shelter (SAS), a for-profit business owned and operated by our local veterinarian. SAS currently serves as the City Shelter. It is located off Date Street. Its employees handle the unwanted and abandoned animals for the City of TorC and the entire county. Government funding covers its operating costs. On the other hand, the office of the Sierra County Humane Society is located at Desert Haven Animal Refuge. Contrary to some misinformed local folks, neither Sierra Veterinary Services nor Sierra Animal Shelter are “the other Humane Society”.
The Sierra County Humane Society receives absolutely NO funding from tax-payers dollars. It is not associated with the city or county government in any way. We are a private entity that generates its funding through the generosity of individuals and businesses who support our on-going efforts.
Do you have medium or large empty pet food bags you wish to recycle? We also can use transparent plastic bags of all sizes. We gladly accept them at Paws&Claws during business hours (Wed to Sat, 10:30-4:30) and at the sanctuary (Tues 10-4PM).This week’s Priority wish list: canned and dry pet food, dog treats, also scratch and sunflower seeds.
Consider contributing to this worthwhile cause by sending a monthly contribution to our 501-c-3 non-profit animal welfare organization at PO Box 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942. E-mail us at