Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Week of 12/16/07 Humane Happenings


"Lucky the Reindeer" - Desert Haven's first canine resident

Christmas is just around the corner and the volunteer team at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s No-Kill Domestic Animal Sanctuary, is asking all animal loving folks to consider including Desert Haven’s furry and feathered residents on their Christmas list. In Dog Town, we continue to need sturdy leashes, dog treats, canned and dry food, along with big dog food bowls.

In winter and especially during cold weather, the dogs of Desert Haven are fed a mixture of moist and dry food twice a day, after their exercise run on The Old West Trail. One twenty-pound bag of dog food, for example, lasts about one day at Dog Town. While we purchase brands such as Beneful and Pedigree on a regular basis for our canine population, we mix everything together, including pet food of any type that is donated by our animal loving friends.

The residents of The Cool Cat Neighborhood love canned tuna of course, but they also appreciate any type of canned and dry cat food, and treats as well. Everyone visiting “The Neighborhood” always comments on the attractiveness and cleanliness of the entire Feline Habitat. As a couple visiting DHAR from out-of-state called it, it is most certainly “the feline equivalent of a five-star gated community” - quite an impressive statement from cat lovers who make it a point to visit feline sanctuaries as they travel throughout the country.

John & Linda Jones of San Lorenzo, New Mexico, visited Desert Haven this past Tuesday and they were both very impressed with the entire facility including the loving care that all the members of the DHAR team are giving the furry and feathered residents. John has already committed to help care for the animals and with on-going projects every Tuesday. Way to go, John!

This week, we especially wish to acknowledge Richard & Annie Millard of Caballo, for their generous Christmas contribution and their very complimentary note - also Rochelle Danhi of Florida, who visited DHAR recently with her friends Jim and Judith. Rochelle included with her generous contribution a card to let us know that the three of them were very impressed with the facility and how well we take care of all the non-human residents.

We appreciate the thoughtfulness of the recent anonymous contributor of the two large cans of wonderful dog treats dropped-off at Paws & Claws for the residents of Dog Town.

It’s Christmas time, and the volunteer team at Desert Haven hopes that the furry and feathered creatures in their care will also be remembered by folks who genuinely love animals. For more information, contact us at 894-2778. You can also check us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Week of 12/9/07 Humane Happenings


Eliana with Angel, a Christmas puppy

Happy Belated Birthday, Linda Estavillo. At 39 years and holding, this birthday should be a memorable one for a very special lady. Linda is the Facilities Manager at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, The Sierra County Humane Society owned-and-operated no-kill domestic animal sanctuary. Linda, who chose Desert Haven as part of her need for a change of direction in her career goals and a strong need for a purpose-driven life at this time in her life, came to Desert Haven over a year ago from her home in Oregon after answering a “Volunteer Help Wanted” ad in one of the national RV magazines. Linda resides at Desert Haven, with husband David, who works in law enforcement, and son James, a student at Hot Springs High School. Linda is a huge part of the on-going success of Desert Haven. Thanks for being part of our volunteer Team, Linda.

Ben and Beverly De Garmo, a couple originally from Texas who work camped at Desert Haven for the past several months, will soon be leaving the area to go on to their next work camping adventure in another part of the US. They have been instrumental in keeping the pet adoption clinics open in several of the local stores, and we very appreciate all their efforts as well as their genuine love and concern for the non-human residents of DHAR. We wish them well, and trust that they will indeed come back to DHAR, as they promised, when the opportunity presents itself to them again.

Sport, a young shepherd with a great disposition, together with Parker, a cheerful border collie, also Angel, an adorable six-week old puppy, also Princess, a cute-as-a-button Chihuahua terrier, are now the newest additions to Dog Town. Together with the rest of the Dog Town gang, these puppies and young canines of various sizes and temperaments are making Desert Haven a great place to shop for a companion animal, especially at this time of the year.

Wish List: Steel garbage cans with lids, used refrigerator in good working condition, pet food, canned & dry. Dog and cat treats.

Volunteers are needed to walk the resident dogs, help clean their environment and prepare their food. Kitty Cuddlers are also needed in The Cool Cat Neighborhood. If you are partial to birds, guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens or peacocks, consider donating some of your time at Birdland. Marilyn Cassidy, a local volunteer, is spending the holidays out of the area and her dependable help is very much missed.

At this time of the year, remember the animals and help the volunteers at DHAR and the Sierra county Humane Society care for the less fortunate animals. For more information, contact us at 575-894-2778. You can also check us out at www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Letter from Pat & Terry Mayfield

Note: Pat & Terry Mayfield spent three weeks work camping at Desert Haven. These wonderful folks were so very helpful while they were here. Terry, together with Ron Djurovich, designed and built the Old West Pavilion. It provides a place for dog walkers to rest in the shade while the dogs run and play in the Old West fenced-in section of DHAR.


Terry, Vickie, and Pat in the Old West Pavilion

November 14, 2007


Dear Eliana,

Terry and I want to tell you how much we enjoyed our time with you and the staff of Desert Haven Animal Refuge. You are a wonderful, and dedicated group and really care about each of your furred and feathered friends. You are doing a great service for your community and the animals there that need a good home. Your clean, homey, comfortable and rustic facility offers a great home to pets waiting for adoption. It was a pleasure to see several volunteers from the area interested in the care of the dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, guinea pigs, doves, and peacocks. We also were able to witness two or three adoptions in our short three-week stay.

We also enjoyed working with the other Work Campers that were at Desert Haven the same time we were. We worked hard but we had a lot of fun too. Terry was so happy to have been able to build the covered bench for you in the Wild West area were you take the dogs for a good run twice a day. I was amazed at your Paws and Claws Thrift Store and really enjoyed my hours there with you. What must be said though is – You need a much bigger building!

Thank you for the opportunity to work with you and get to know you, Linda, Freddie, and Deb, your local volunteers and Work Campers. We hope to be able to come again next year.

Pat & Terry Mayfield
Newberg, Oregon

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Week of 12/2/07 Humane Happenings


There was a lot of activity at Desert Haven this past Tuesday, as several local and out of town visitors toured Desert Haven Animal Refuge (Sierra County’s Domestic Animal Sanctuary) either with “Tour Guide Extraordinaire” Freddie Loveless, or Linda Estavillo, Facilities Manager at DHAR.

A huge thank-you is in order to James Schulze and Judith Ross-Morris of Albuquerque, who, after visiting the sanctuary recently, were so impressed with the facility and the loving care given to all its non-human residents, that they decided to make a substantial contribution in lieu of exchanging Christmas gift this year. What a wonderful gesture on the part of two very thoughtful individuals!

Beverly and Bob Jensen of Colorado, who are spending the winter in a local RV park, are currently sponsoring Parker, the newest resident of Dogtown . Parker, a young male Border Collie mix with a great disposition, was found wandering around the RV Park where they are staying. The couple immediately volunteered to cover the costs of Parker’s sterilization, including all his shots. They are also donating their time each day to help care for him – what a caring couple! Anyone interested in sponsoring a dog or a cat from Desert Haven? All it takes is a little time on your hands and a big dose of love! The rewards are priceless.

We appreciate the thoughtfulness of Beverly and Ben De Garmo of Texas, for their generous donation of pet food in Memory of their beloved kitty Anna Belle, now buried at Rainbow Bridge Pet Cemetery. Paws-Up to two very generous couples: Annie & Richard Millard and Mary Jane & Bill Clellan whose monthly contributions help cover the costs of pet food for the residents of DHAR. A pat on the back is in order for Margaret Simone and Kathy Onereck of Markayes Quality Pet Supplies, who recently donated dog food and pet gifts. These animal loving folks also have one of our Doggie Banks in their place of business. The proceeds from the Doggie Banks help fund our comprehensive Spay-Neuter program. Applications for the Spay-Neuter program can be picked up at the TorC Police Station, Hot Springs Animal Clinic, El Rancho Poodles and Paws & Claws thrift shop.

This week’s wish list: Large steel garbage cans with lids – a good used refrigerator - volunteers at Desert Haven and Paws & Claws thrift shop – canned and dry pet food.

For more information, contact us at 575-894-2778. You can also check us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Week of 11/25/07 Humane Happenings


How quickly the season seems to be going at this time of the year!

Already Thanksgiving is behind us, and now Christmas is on the way. Thanksgiving was celebrated last Tuesday at Desert Haven, the domestic animal sanctuary owned and operated by The Sierra County Humane Society. Jeanette Galliard, on her R&R (Rest and Recuperation) at Caballo RV Park from her demanding career in Albuquerque, handled the traditional Turkey main dish and trimmings, while everyone included a special dish, as is customary. This made for a very congenial Thanksgiving celebration for the volunteer team at DHAR.

On Thursday, the animals and birds were not forgotten, and special treats were handed out to all. In the evening, the volunteers gathered again at the sanctuary for the Thanksgiving meal. Beverly and Ben DiGarmo, work campers from Texas, took charge of the scrumptious Ham main dish. Once again, the dining room was resounding with laughter and interesting conversations throughout the entire meal. A harmonica was brought out and Leonardo Rivera added to the feelings of friendship by playing some well known tunes way into the evening. When some of our work campers pull out within the next few weeks, on their way to new and exciting adventure across the United States, it will be with sadness that the rest of the crew will see them leave.

George and DiAnna Schnetzer came to visit Desert Haven last Tuesday, and it was a genuine pleasure to see them both. As always, these generous folks from Los Lunas did not come empty handed - their car was loaded with much needed pet food. They did not forget the DHAR volunteer crew, as they also brought goodies for every sweet tooth at the sanctuary – the human type, that is.

Paws & Claws continues to be very busy and at this time of the year, local volunteers are very much needed there as well, especially to make-up for those who will soon be leaving the sanctuary to spend their Christmas vacation with their out-of-state family.

For information on how to support our non-profit, animal welfare organization in some way, either through financial contributions or to volunteer some of your time each week, either at Paws & Claws thrift shop in T or C, or at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, contact us at 894-2778 or 894-1694. You can also check-us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Week of 11/18/07 Humane Happenings

The Holiday season is already here. Throughout the next several weeks, Desert Haven Animal Refuge (owned and operated by the Sierra County Humane Society) will be experiencing a volunteer shortage. Some of its crew members are already scheduled to leave soon so they can spend the holidays out-of-state, with their family. Extra helping hands are needed to replace them temporarily.

It takes special folks to volunteer - it's not for everyone, as not everyone is willing to give of his or her precious spare time, even only for a couple of hours a week. Those who care enough to want to do something worthwhile with the time on their hands find interesting and very rewarding volunteer opportunities at DHAR, either as helpers in The Cool Cat Neighborhood, or at Birdland & Animal House, helping the crew feed the birds, chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs. Others may prefer to walk the small dogs on a leash, or prepare their food, also sweep their living quarters. All the animal residents of DHAR thrive on the special attention that volunteers always give them.

Currently, Animal Care at Desert Haven starts at 8 AM, and again at 4 PM. With the Old West Pavilion completed, dog walkers have the opportunity to relax, comfortably sitting on the covered bench, while watching the small groups of resident dogs in their care chase each-other playfully throughout the large fenced area, or run after anything that moves, never catching it, of course… If interested in helping out during the holidays, either plan to visit us on a Tuesday or contact Freddie at 894-2778 to let her know what day – morning or evening – that you would prefer to help.

A huge pat on the back is in order to our local Animal Care volunteers: Marilyn Cassidy comes twice a week. She concentrates on Birdland and The Cool Cat Neighborhood. Molly, a special Ed teacher at the T or C elementary school, handles all the laundry generated in the cat section. She also helps with Animal Care whenever her work schedule allows. Bootz, an integral part of the volunteer crew for several years now, is very much appreciates the three mornings a week that she handles dog care with other crew members at DHAR. These ladies are wonderful! We need more of them!

At this time, canned pet food is in high demand, now that the Desert Southwest nights are getting much colder as the winter season approaches. It is mixed with the dry food - and we do have hungry dogs and cats at DHAR! We also need a good used refrigerator.

For information on how to support our non-profit, animal welfare organization in some way, contact us at 894-2778 or 894-1694. You can also check-us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com. and http://www.DeserthavenAnimalRefuge.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Week of 11/4/07 Humane Happenings


Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s no-kill domestic animal sanctuary, is a very busy place at this time of the year. While big projects are being planned and started, the crew continues to make the non-human residents their priority one, and at the same time keep the facility in good state of repairs. This past Tuesday, and with winter rapidly approaching, Beverly DeGarmo winterized Birdland with straw donated by Jeanette Galliard. Ron Gjurovich and Deb Peters winterized the water lines – lots of water lines to winterize at DHAR! While John Sphar sorted building materials in the bone yard, Tim Day and Carlton Morse strengthened several enclosures in Dog Town, Kathryn Sphar and Addie Day revitalized the DHAR kitchen, and Ben DeGarmo completed the painting of the inside walls in the newly built visitors’ entrance to the main building. Many folks worked very hard and for many months the past two years, to get the new visitors’ entrance off the ground. The spacious porch is built, thanks to Walt Allen and his crew. The handicap ramp, built and covered some months ago, has now been stained, thanks to Ron Gjurovich. Soon, and with a little help from Walt Allen and Gene Trelewicz, who have the finishing touches on their to-do list, the main entrance to the office building and dining quarters will be finally completed. The sunny addition makes a world of difference at the DHAR headquarters.


Desert Haven has a strong and skilled team oriented crew this Fall. Dolly Loftus, DHAR new volunteer Administrative Assistant, is now on board - and not a week too soon. This retired local teacher is making a great addition to the volunteer office crew already in place. Linda Estavillo, DHAR’s Facility Manager, is accomplishing wonders at DHAR. Her determination, enthusiasm and her leadership skills have earned her the respect and affection of the entire crew. Eliana Aubin, DHAR Executive Director, has found a skilled and effective assistant in Linda, also in Freddie Loveless, DHAR Camp Host and Operations manager for the past four years. Freddie is also the sanctuary’s first long-term work camper and its “oldest” permanent human resident.

When one starts to think that Desert Haven is operated by an all-volunteer crew, and that it is successful, Whoa! What an achievement in itself!

This week’s wish list: A good used refrigerator. Canned dog and cat food, volunteers at Paws & Claws thrift shop, dog walkers and kitty cuddlers at Desert Haven. For information on how to support our non-profit, animal welfare organization in some way, contact us at 575-894-2778 or 894-1694. You can also check-us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Featured Pet - Scotty



"Scotty is well named. I can picture him poking about in the brambles of the misty highlands of Scotland, his rough coat beaded with drops of water, ready to give chase to stag or hare.

He is alert, vigilant, brave, learns quickly and never forgets his lessons. He doesn't care much about "treats" but appreciates words of approval and the occasional scratch behind his ears. He is reserved, independent and strong willed but will be very loyal and obedient to the human who expects the best from him.
If I had to pick, from among our dogs at Desert Haven, the one that would be a reliable, intelligent and hardy companion in the woods and on the trail, Scotty would be my choice.
"



These are the words of Al Wilkinson, Desert Haven's Dog Trainer.Scotty was born in November 2005 to a mother that was brought to the refuge starving and pregnant. He's energetic and loves to play with his siblings and other dogs. He's got the even temperment of his blue heeler mother and loves to be petted, cuddled and walked. Scotty will make an excellent family dog.


Scotty as a puppy



If you might have room in your home and heart for this lovable guy, please give Frederica (Freddie) Loveless a call at 575-894-2778. She will happy to share more information with you and make an appointment for you to meet Scotty and any of our other available dogs or cats in need of a forever family.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Letter to the Editor

Note: This letter was written by a Desert Haven volunteer and sent to the editor of the local paper, along with a copy to us. Thank you for writing, Steven!

Camille Pronovost
DH Webmaster

October 29, 2007

Dear Editor,

I have worked at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, off and on, from about the beginning. It’s amazing how Eliana Aubin’s vision for the place has slowly come into being. She has worked harder than anyone there. Eliana is the Executive Director at DHAR.

The many hard-working volunteers have put their heart and soul into a very worthy project. Without them the animals would have no place to be safe and cared for, and it’s not all. Being a snowbird and traveling like I do, it is always interesting to see the changes and additions that have been done at Desert Haven each time I decide to spend a few months in T or C. The Cool Cat Neighborhood is a great place to sit and find a friend who will jump into your lap and enjoy being petted.

There’s a lot more to do at Desert Haven and volunteers are always needed. Supplies, food, and building materials are in need at Desert Haven to help expand and provide more room for more animals.

Rainbow Bridge Pet Cemetery is a place where your pet can be buried, and you can visit them when you feel the need. This is your Pet Haven. Your community support is needed to make Desert Haven grow and expand to provide for all animals in need. I hope people will go out and take a tour and see for themselves what a nice place Desert Haven is and perhaps get involved and help with the animals.

Your support is also needed at the Paws & Claws Thrift Shop. If you buy there, you not only get a bargain, but your money goes to a very worthy cause. You also may want to consider volunteering some time at Paws & Claws to help hang clothes or sell something. Donations are always needed and welcome.

I have always enjoyed my time in T or C when working with Desert Haven and the thrift shop. Working with Eliana has taught me that running a thrift store is a lot of hard work. She can always use help, and the animals will benefit from your participation in the Sierra County Humane Society.

Stephen Hawkins
PO Box 2953
Everett, WA 98213-0953

Week of 11/1/07 Humane Happenings



Fall has arrived at full speed in The Rio Grande corridor, and the tree lines along the water’s edge, seen in all their splendor from Desert Haven Animal Refuge, have already turned to a golden yellow- the unmistakable hue of the Desert Southwest in the Fall. The Caballo Mountains in the background complete the signature painting of Mother Nature. The New Mexico scenery, appreciated from the brand new Old West Pavilion, is absolutely gorgeous at this time of the year. The Pavilions’ builders - Terry Mayfield and Ron Djurovich (spelled correctly this time, Ron) – can be very proud of their accomplishment - the Old West Pavilion, surrounded by greasewoods and mesquite bushes. Looks great on the Old West Trail.


Eliana & Suede - A Hug in the Flowers

Adoption clinics are being held almost weekly now, thanks to the efforts of Bev and Ben DiGarmo who insure that some of the little dogs of DHAR receive the exposure that they need and fully deserve. Pat Armijo of The Movie Gallery and Bryan of Red Bone have both been very generous in allowing our Adoption Team to bring some of the sanctuary’s littlest dogs inside their place of business, to give them an extra chance at adoption. Suede, the fearless rat terrier pup who, with little Suzy-Q, was chosen for the Adoption Clinic last week, has a personality of his own and a courage to boot. That little guy is afraid of nothing, and not even the biggest and meanest-looking dogs at DHAR can scare him off! What a cutie!

This week’s kudos go to Jeanette Galliard for the twelve bales of alfalfa and straw that she brought to DHAR this week, all the way from Albuquerque where she lives and works, on her way to her R&R destination: Caballo Lake RV Park. This energetic nurse by trade, and big-hearted animal loving social butterfly by choice, is a real energizer at the sanctuary, and everyone looks forwards to her visits every month. The DHAR main dining area was fully decorated in the spirit of Halloween this past Tuesday – courtesy of Jeanette, of course! The volunteers there that day seemed to thoroughly enjoy the lunch and the time shared together, after a busy morning spent taking care of the non-human residents and working on some of Desert Haven’s most pressing maintenance projects.

We continue to need canned pet food, to supplement the dry food that we feed our dogs and cats every day. For information on how to adopt a companion animal from Desert Haven, contact us at 575-894-2778. You can also check-us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Week of 10/21/07 Humane Happenings



These past few weeks have been very productive at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s domestic animal sanctuary owned and operated by the Sierra County Humane Society. The Winter work camping crew has arrived and is now settled at the campground, and, together with the “Old Timers”, these animal loving folks are showing a genuine interest in making a difference. There is a strong team spirit among all members of the crew, and it affects everyone positively.



Terry Mayfield and Ron Gjudovich have almost completed the Old West Pavilion - the new covered bench that is now proudly overlooking the Old West Trail and it fenced exercise area, where the Desert Haven dogs are allowed to run loose twice a day, until they themselves decide that they can’t play anymore. Then, they walk back to the entrance gate, tongues hanging and eyes shining, ready to return to Dog Town, in anticipation of enjoying their twice-daily bowl of food. Terry and his building partner Ron have done a great job: The covered bench sure looks good, and the dog walkers will enjoy it so much.



After a busy morning handling animal care, painting, building, pulling weeds, answering phone calls, handling paper and computer work, everyone raved over Beverly’s delicious chicken gumbo and all the other tasty buffet dishes, including newcomer Pat, who is spending a couple of weeks at the sanctuary in anticipation of coming back later on this winter.

The Adoption Clinic was held this week at The Movie Gallery, and we thank owner Pat Armijo for her support in offering a free movie rental in exchange for pet food for DHAR.

Kevin of “Red Bone” in Downtown T or C, has also been very generous with the space he is letting us use to hold our Adoption Clinic.

This week’s Wish List: Canned dog and cat food - Good used refrigerator for the DHAR kitchen - Helping hands at Paws & Claws thrift shop – Dog walkers and kitty cuddlers at DHAR. For information on how to support our non-profit, all-volunteer animal welfare organization in some way, contact us at 575-894-2778 or 894-1694. You can also check-us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Week of 10/14/07 Humane Happenings


Linda (Facilities Mgr. of DHAR), Eliana (Pres. of SCHS and DHAR), and Deb, (volunteer work camper at DHAR) in front of Paws & Claws Thrift Shop

The Sierra County Humane Society, Inc. wishes to give a huge thank-you to a supportive community! The Cash-for-Clubs program, offered each year by Bullocks, is designed to let the hometown grocery store’s customers decide where their donations should be directed. A wonderful program, it has greatly helped our non-profit animal welfare organization raise the necessary funds to keep it’s Spay-Neuter program alive over the 17 years of that program’s existence. Participating non-profit local organizations receive cash donations equal to 2 per thousand of the cash register receipts total they collect between September First and July 31st, year after year after year.

Between Sept 2006 and July 2007, our organization collected $ 3,739.89; exactly $1,437.71 more than the second largest recipient, the ZIA PTO. This is Community support at its best! A sincere "Thank-you" goes to each and everyone who, in their own way, helped us collect so many Bullocks receipts! We also appreciate the on-going efforts of Josephine Varnum for tallying all of them - quite a task indeed!

Animal loving folks are invited to continue to drop-off their Bullocks receipts at Paws & Claws Thrift Shop, the T or C Public Library and the Williamsburg Post Office.

A local resident -Charles Kuhne- visited Paws & Claws recently and complimented us on our weekly column: Humane Happenings. “It’s good that you write every week and keep us updated”. Comments like these are very much appreciated by the writer of this weekly article, but it is the strong support of the local media that helps our small organization keep the community updated as we do, and we wish to acknowledge that support. As far as we can remember, the Sierra County Sentinel has printed the “Humane Happenings” article as a Public Service Announcement each and every week that it was sent for publication. Such on-going commitment is truly commendable!

This week’s wish list: Good used refrigerator to replace the now-defunct one donated two years ago for the DHAR kitchen. Canned pet food. With the Desert Southwest nights getting cooler as the winter season approaches, the 16 residents of Dog Town, from four-months-old rat terrier Suede to Maxwell, the energetic Shepherd, canned food is always in high demand.

Interested in supporting our non-profit, all-volunteer animal welfare organization in some way? Contact us at 505-894-2778 or 894-1694. You can also check-us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Week of 10/7/07 Humane Happenings


Ted with lots of kitties

The First Annual Blessing of the Animals took place on Saturday October 6 at Rainbow Bridge Pet Cemetery, adjacent to Desert Haven Animal Refuge, near Williamsburg. It commemorated the birthday of St Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of small creatures. The ceremony, attended by over two dozen folks with their companion animals, was officiated by Father Peter Cacoperdo, pastor of St Paul’s Episcopal Church in T or C., in front of the life size statue of St Francis donated in 1999 by the family of Eugene Scartaccini, in his memory.


A sincere “Thank-You” is in order to Father Peter, for the very appropriate ceremony that he provided for all the animal loving folks attending. It was indeed a success! A “Thank-you” is also in order to the local radio station for announcing the event that morning. We appreciate the local media for their on-going support of our organization in publishing the Sierra County Humane Society’s weekly “Humane Happenings”. The media’s support is crucial in helping us keep the animal loving folks of our area updated on what our organization is accomplishing to help make this corner of the world a little gentler for every living creature.


A little petting for Hammy

Desert Haven’s winter work camping crew has now arrived and already settled down at the campground. John & Kathryn Farr of Washington, Ben & Beverly of Texas, and Terry & Pat Mayfield of Oregon are joining hands with the “Old Timers” - Operations Manager Freddie Loveless of Indiana, ARNG ( All ‘Round-Nice-Guy) Ron Gjudovich of New York, “Tool-Time Deb” & Training Manager Deb Peters of Connecticut, and last but certainly not least, Facilities Manager Linda Estavillo of Oregon. All of them reside on the property.

The crew is already planning several large projects and everyone is looking forward to an enjoyable winter spent working together with folks of kindred spirit.

This week’s wish list: Canned dog and cat food, volunteers at Paws & Claws thrift shop, dog walkers and kitty cuddlers at Desert Haven. For information on how to support our non-profit, all-volunteer animal welfare organization in some way, contact us at 505-894-2778 or 894-1694. You can also check-us out at www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Week of 10/1/07 Humane Happenings


These are busy times at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s No-Kill domestic animal sanctuary. Last week, Desert Haven’s “Guardian Angels” - George & DiAnna Schnetzer- came down from their home in Los Lunas to distribute to all the canine residents platform beds just like those used at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah. Not only they are light and easy to clean, but also they are also very comfortable and roomy, even for our largest canines.


All the residents of Dog Town took to them immediately, and some more than others. After inspecting his new and spacious platform bed, the spirited wirehair Chihuahua, Pierrot, proceeded to move all his toys to his new sleeping quarters - and little Pierrot has many toys! Then, surrounded by all his earthly possessions, the new self-proclaimed king-of-the jungle began to watch the on-goings of Dog Town from his prestigious position.


He was exuding such obvious pride and satisfaction that all the volunteers involved that day could not help but smile every time they walked by his living quarters. George and DiAnna, you are two very special people and we all love you, here at Desert Haven. Thank-you!

We certainly appreciate each Sierra County resident and business owner who supports our organization in some way. Sierra Feeds recently donated a sizeable load of Eukanuba dog food. A few days ago, St Cloud Mining dropped-off an entire pallet of cat litter. St Cloud’s on-going donation of cat litter over the years has been a tremendous help as we care of the feline residents of the Cool Cat Neighborhood. Jason Gransbury of Palomas Canyon answered our recent plea and he spent many hours working on the property with his small tractor and backhoe.



Dan Mason of Turtleback Pest Control regularly drops–off bags of pet food at Paws & Claws thrift shop for DHAR. A new friend of Desert Haven - David Delio – heard about our need for canned food and immediately donated pet food as well as several boxes of much needed canned cat food.

With the cool weather soon upon us, we are starting to feed our residents more canned food each day, mixed with their dry food. We are asking our animal loving readers to please consider dropping-off at Paws & Claws thrift shop or Desert Haven any amount of CANNED dog and cat food.

For information on how to support our animal welfare organization in some way, contact us at 505-894-2778 or 505-894-1694. You can also check-us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Week of 9/23/07 Humane Happenings


The Birthday of St. Francis, patron Saint of all animals, will be celebrated on Saturday, October 6, at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s no-kill domestic animal sanctuary. At 11 AM, a Blessing of the Animals ceremony will take place at Rainbow Bridge Pet Cemetery. It will be officiated by Father Peter Cacoperdo, Pastor of the Episcopal Church in T or C. All interested community residents accompanied by their companion animals are invited to attend. During that time, Desert Haven volunteer staff members will be on hand for anyone interested in visiting dogs and cats available for adoption. For more information, contact DHAR Facilities manager - Linda Estavillo – at 505-740-2775.

The president of the Sierra County Humane Society, Eliana Aubin, recently attended the Court proceedings involving the James Belis case. Belis pleaded guilty to dangling a live cat by its tail over a pit bull and a boxer in their pen - an act of extreme cruelty routinely used in the savage blood sport of Dogfighting to train certain breeds of dogs to fight. Animal loving folks in our area owe a big thank-you to District Attorney Clint Welborn and his dedicated office staff for giving Sierra County Humane Society representatives the opportunity to speak on behalf of the animal victims at any proceedings involving animal cruelty. His decision is giving animals a voice in Sierra County Courts - a huge step forward to protect innocent non-human victims of abuse and cruelty who can’t speak for themselves. Times are changing indeed.

At his Court appearance, Belis was facing up to 182 days for cruelty to animals - a misdemeanor. It has been reduced from Extreme Cruelty to Animals - a fourth degree felony - when a plea-bargaining deal was made out-of-Court that also involved domestic abuse offenses. Consecutive to his other sentence, Judge Matthew Reynolds gave Belis 177 days of jail time and then probation for the remaining five days of the maximum 182 days that he was facing in regard to the animal abuse case.

The Sierra County Humane Society is determined to help put an end to animal cruelty in this area. Mr. Eloy Martinez of the District Attorney’s office has assured the SCHS President that any animal abuse case brought by our organization to the District Attorney’s office attention will be taken seriously and handled accordingly. Anyone knowing of dogs being trained to fight should contact the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) at 202-452-1100. The caller’s anonymity will be protected. In addition, please contact The Sierra County Humane Society at 505-894-1694.

For information on how to support our animal welfare organization, contact us at 505-894-2778 or 894-1694. You can also check-us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Week of 9/16/07 Humane Happenings


The Cash for Clubs program, generously offered each year by Bullocks Grocery, is on again. We urge our animal-loving readers to consider saving all their Bullocks receipts for the Sierra County Humane Society & Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s No-Kill domestic animal sanctuary. Bullocks allows local non-profit organizations to receive 1% per $1,000 of the sales reflecting on their receipts, between the months of Sept and July. Long-time SCHS member Josephine Varnum kindly continues to tally all the receipts dropped off at Paws & Claws thrift shop, Desert Haven Animal Refuge, the TorC public library and Williamsburg Post office. The money collected helps keep our organization’s Spay-Neuter program alive. We rebate $30 for male dogs or cats, and $40 for females, to pet owners needing an extra incentive to get their companion animal sterilized. Applications are available at the TorC Police station, El Rancho Poodles, Hot Springs Animal Clinic, Paws & Claws thrift shop, and also on line at
http://www. DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com. We are convinced that our comprehensive Spay-Neuter program is instrumental in curbing the dog and cat overpopulation throughout Sierra County.

Note: Eliana Aubin wishes to thank all the folks who made it a point to contact her personally to find out why there was no Humane Happenings article in the Sierra County Sentinel last week. In fact, it was quite a surprise to find out how many interested folks called over the weekend. A sincere thank-you goes to the management of the Sentinel newspaper who took the time out of their busy schedule to contact Eliana personally regarding their quickly approaching deadline that week. Good business spirit! A home-based non-profit business computer crashing at the worse time, then the necessary purchase & subsequent installation of another computer created huge setbacks that hopefully now are being corrected. It was a good feeling, though, to witness the obvious local interest generated by the SCHS’s weekly Humane Happenings.

Put meaning in your life: become a volunteer. If you love animals or just want to be part of a progressive community-oriented organization, consider volunteering with us: We need your help!

Volunteer at Paws & Claws thrift shop at 109 East First Street, or if you prefer working on projects on Tuesdays, or helping with animal care and dog walking any day of the week of your choosing, contact us at 505-894-2778 for more information.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Week of 9/02/07 Humane Happenings


Maxwell, overseeing his domain

Welcome back, Deb Peters! After a five-week trip back East where she celebrated an important Birthday and visited family and friends, Desert Haven Animal Refuge’s “Tool Time Deb” is back. Indeed, Welcome Back, Deb!

This week, a special thank-you goes to Al Wilkinson and Bootz, two local folks who have shown on numerous occasions that their love for animals and their belief in what the sanctuary represents are for real. When Deb left in July, we needed extra hands to replace her during her absence. Al, Desert Haven’s Dog Trainer, and Bootz, a long-term local volunteer, made it a point to help out in any way they could. Thanks a million, guys!

This summer, Dog Town has been home to a full-house of canines of all sizes, ages and temperaments. From Pierrot, the spirited Chihuahua, to Maxwell, the proud Shepherd, we have it all. It is amazing how much Livia, the small Benjy-look-alike cutie, has improved in the past few weeks since the DHAR volunteers rescued her. The old saying “Love conquers all” comes to our mind when we look at her. From the terrified little canine rag-doll, ready to snap at anyone that she felt was coming too close for comfort, Livia is quickly becoming the want-to-be lap dog of Dog Town. Saving Livia did not change the world, but it made a difference in the life of that one little dog, and it certainly made a difference in the life of each and everyone of us, who had anything to do with saving her and getting her back to a normal life.

Because of a crew that cared enough this summer, the canines of Desert Haven are now able to enjoy to the fullest a completely fenced one-acre area, full of vegetation and interesting things to investigate, from a dog’s point of view, that is. Fencing The Old West section of Desert Haven has truly enhanced the daily life of the canines of Dog Town. Each morning and evening, the crew assigned to animal care on that day brings all the dogs to the now-fenced Old West area, in small groups. It is a dog’s paradise. When they finally get back to their respective play yards after their run, they are welcomed with abundant fresh water and their individual bowl of mixed canned and dry food. While they are out, each yard is cleaned by the “Poop Patrol” on duty. What a dog’s life! No wonder some of our visitors have often commented that if they were a dog, they would love to wake up each morning at Desert Haven! For more information on how to volunteer or support our organization in some ways, contact us at 894-2778. You can also check-us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Week of 8/26/07 Humane Happenings


Midget, Frankie, and a tail!

This week, The Sierra County Humane Society, Inc. wishes to congratulate Celeste Rich of Celestial Creations for becoming its newest business member. A very special thank-you also goes to CPA James Bagwell for handling, free of charge, the filing of the 2006 taxes for our all-volunteer, non-profit animal welfare organization.

Our animal loving readers who wish to learn more about Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s No-Kill domestic animal sanctuary, but who have not had the opportunity to visit the facility in person, should check out our Desert Haven blog at www.deserthavenanimalrefuge.blogspot.com. Past and current visitors to our sanctuary and RVing volunteers from all over have written about their experience while at DHAR. The blog is updated each week by our web master, Camille Pronovost, a former work camper, and we have received many compliments on it since she started it last year. Thank-you for your fantastic work of love-in-progress, Camille. In it, along with photos of the facility and of its residents, both human and non-human, you will find interesting comments made about our organization, from local and out-of-the-area visitors.

Jessie, the little rat terrier rescued several weeks ago, is now adopted, along with four of her five tiny pups. In this area, it’s obvious that small dogs are more easily adopted than larger ones. Large dogs don’t find homes easily in Sierra County, and they are most often doomed from the start of their life – born to die indeed. Allowing large dogs to reproduce is a tragedy, as there are not enough adoptive homes available and willing to adopt large dogs. Our organization has been helping dog owners for years now, with spay-neuter rebates of $30 for male dogs or cats, and $40 for females. Applications can be obtained at the T or C Police station, El Rancho Poodles, and at Paws & Claws thrift shop.

We continue to collect aluminum cans that we store in our Can Corral, located next to Paws & Claws thrift shop. Walt Allen transports all the cans regularly and they are redeemed to benefit the Humane Society Spay-Neuter program. Thanks, Walt.

Wish List: Moist and dry dog and cat food - someone at Desert Haven to help with office work for a couple of hours every Tuesday morning - Dog walkers and kitty cuddlers. Two hours of your time, once or twice a week, would be appreciated, and you may enjoy the positive energy that one feels working with animals and our very special Desert Haven crew.

Contact us at 505-894-2778 or visit us on Tuesday. You can also check it out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com.

Letter from a Visitor/Volunteer


Volunteers Larry & Mavis work on "the Penthouse"

August 13, 2007

For the blog.
From Jim Minarchio


I live in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico – elevation 4200 ft., population 8,000. This small southwestern town, seemingly forgotten by Father Time, is located a couple of miles away from Desert Haven Animal Refuge, which I understand is the only No-Kill domestic animal sanctuary in this area.

Over the past couple of years, I have paid regular visits to the Refuge and it’s inhabitants, both human and non-human, and I am always really pleased to see the facility to be so clean and it’s animal population, mostly dogs and cats, to be so healthy and always in good spirits.

What I appreciate as well is the spirit of teamwork and of genuine friendship that everyone shares - from the founder of the small sanctuary, Eliana Aubin, to all the volunteers, either seasonal or long-term. When I share the Tuesday meal with them, I can feel the good vibes that come from the entire group – it feels great to be part of this strong and caring group.

It’s so refreshing for me to know that in these days of competitive minds and cut-throat attitudes, a small group of folks (who come from various walks in life and from all over the US) can work closely together as a team, for a common goal and without expecting any monetary reward. No one, even Eliana, receives any salary. From what I can witness, each one of these kind folks is making a difference in the lives of domestic animals down-on-their luck, and most certainly in his or her own life as well. I salute all of them.

If I were a dog or a cat, Desert Haven is where I would like to wake up, under the care of all the wonderful and selfless volunteers who work there.

Keep up the good work, people, you are appreciated.

Jim Minarchio
1201 Caballo Rd
T or C NM 87901

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Week of 8/12/07 Humane Happenings


"I knew you were in there!"

Volunteering is alive and well in Sierra County. The Sierra County Humane Society and Desert Haven Animal Refuge are a living example of what a small group of volunteers can do to improve their corner of the world. The sense of pride and accomplishment one experiences when giving back to Society by donating time and energy to a chosen cause is something very special. The on-going support of animal loving folks from all over is crucial as well and our organization values each one of them.

We appreciate the thoughtfulness of Gilbert and Barbara Papay of Ohio, for their recent donation in memory of Don “Doc” Gisler who passed away some months ago. Don, a retired veterinarian accompanied by his wife Denise, work-camped at Desert Haven soon after the small sanctuary opened its doors. They both were well liked and much appreciated for sharing their energy and their knowledge with the rest of the crew.

We wish to thank Jerry Holt & Carol Staggs, also Lee Garner, Lee & Ruth Ann Bell and Glen & Joan Johnson for their donation of pet food or cash contributions to purchase pet food. Dog and cat food, sunflower and birdseeds, rabbit pellets, chicken scratch and alfalfa are the main staple on the menu of the sanctuary’s residents and they are an important Budget line item.

A special thank-you goes to Mickey Sidoli for donating towards Lance’s and Livia’s care. Lance is a partially blind cocker spaniel recently rescued from a busy street after he was shot in the face with shotgun pellets. Livia, a terrier-yorky mix, was discovered tangled-up in a creosote bush with a chain. She could not move around. The traumatized little dog also had a wire tied very securely around her neck. Had she not been discovered in time, she would have probably died of lack of water in the desert heat, or of slow strangulation. Thanks to the loving care and patience of dog trainer Al Wilkinson and each member of the Desert Haven crew, including Mollie Williams who bathed and groomed the little girl-dog at her home, Livia is now available for adoption. Also available: female Chihuahua Penny - males Chihuahua Eddie and Pierrot – females terrier-mix Bell and Jessie and the remaining two out of five of Jessie’s seven-week old pups - also Blue heeler Indy - Rhodesian Ridgeback-mix Mosey, heeler-mix brothers and sister Scotty, Bud and Bessie – Boxer-mix Vickie – also shepherd–mix brothers Marshall & Maxwell. Last but not least, Lucky, "Deputy-Dawg of Dog Town".

If you are partial to cats, at this time, we have 26 beautiful felines of all temperaments and types, all healthy and ready to move in with their special person. Contact us at 505-894-2778 or visit us on Tuesday. You can also check us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Week of 8/12/07 Humane Happenings



At this time of the year, The Sierra County Humane Society is receiving a larger than usual number of phone calls regarding pet owners who wish to give away their unwanted companion animals, including entire litters of kittens or puppies. “Free to good home” dogs or cats often end-up in not-so-good homes, perhaps because they don’t represent a financial investment and consequently are disposed of in the same spirit as any unwanted household item, unless they can be used for less-than ethical purposes. Consequently, our organization is urging pet owners ready to give away their unwanted litters, to insure that they don’t help perpetrate the tragedy of the multitudes of unwanted domestic animals in Sierra County by giving them away to the wrong people.

Dog fighting - the sport of savages - is alive and well in Sierra County, although successfully concealed. Anyone with information regarding either dog or cock-fighting, or dog breeding for the purpose of fighting, should connect with the Humane Society of the US, at 1-202-452-1100. The identity of the caller will be protected on request. Tips that lead to the bust of an animal fighting ring are rewarded with up to $2,500 by the HSUS. You can also contact us at 505-894-2639 or 894-1694. Our District Attorney’s Office has committed to work with The Sierra County Humane Society to help eradicate this savage blood sport in our County.

This past week, the Desert Haven crew gathered for lunch to enjoy Lois DiAndrea’s finger-licking BBQ. It was shared with several visitors including Jim Minarchio of T or C and Jane Duncan of Texas. Jane used to be one of our most active volunteers until she moved to Texas last year, to be close to her family, and it was a real pleasure to visit with her again at the facility.

With school now open, we have lost a dedicated local volunteer: Molly Williams, who teaches locally. She will be sorely missed until she returns during school breaks.

We continue to need a volunteer administrative assistant to help our office team for a couple of hours every Tuesday morning. Computer skills are a plus but certainly not required. We always need helpers at Paws & Claws and Desert Haven. We are looking for a small travel trailer to be used as sleeping quarters for one of our DHAR human residents. If you have one to either donate or lend us for a while, please contact us at 505-894-2778.

For more information on how to volunteer or support our organization in other ways, contact us at 894-2778. You can also check-us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Week of 8/5/07 Humane Happenings

This week’s accolade goes to the following: Dan Mason of Turtleback Pest Control, Sierra Feed, Vicki & Fred Sorg of ALCO, Bill & Mary-Jane Clellan, Barbara Dreyfus, Ginny Shannon, and Annie Millard. These folks (and others who choose to remain anonymous) donate canned and dry dog and cat food, rabbit pellets, and birdseed and sunflower seeds to help feed the non-human residents of Desert Haven Animal Refuge. We at DHAR have a soft spot in our hearts for Annie Millard: for several years now, Annie remembers our organization each month, through a pledge that goes into purchasing food for the residents of Birdland & Animal House. We also appreciate George & DiAnna Schnetzer who routinely donate cash to DHAR to help purchase pet food as needed.

Folks often ask us what we feed our dogs. We purchase high protein food, such as Pedigree, Happy Pets, and Puppy Chow. Beneful is also an integral part of their daily diet. We also purchase Purina, 9 Lives and Alley Cats for the residents of the Cool Cat Neighborhood. The food donated by local animal loving folks is routinely mixed with what DHAR purchases.

Adoptions: While Suzy-Q and Taco moved to their adoptive home two weeks ago, three of Jessie’s five pups - Fritzie, Tatiana, and Freckles - were adopted last Tuesday.

Lance and Livia are now the newest additions to Dog Town: Lance is a young, well-mannered - almost blind - blond cocker spaniel, rescued from a busy street, soon after being shot in the face by shotgun pellets that punctured one of his eyes.

Under the loving care of the Desert Haven volunteers, Lance is recovering from his wounds.

Livia, a very traumatized terrier-yorky mix female, also joined the DHAR canine gang recently.


A terrified little dog at the time of her rescue, Livia would not let anyone approach her, not even to take off the chain hanging on her neck. It took another couple of days to discover, under her long hair, that someone had tightly secured a wire hanger in lieu of collar around her neck.

Lance and Livia are vivid reminders of why Desert Haven exists in this area, and why all our volunteers give so much of themselves, both personally and emotionally, to do what they do, day after day. We are able to curb, in some small but crucial way, the cruelty and ignorance of too many members of the human race.

Wish List: Canned dog and cat food, doggy and kitty treats.

Desert Haven is open for visitors every Tuesday. For more information, contact us at 505-894-2778. You can also check- us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com.

Featured Pet - Mosey


Mosey is very personable and friendly - She adores walking on a leash and is very smart. She is eager to learn and has done well in beginning obedience.

Mosey was saved off "death row" and dreams of a forever home where she can play and cuddle. We believe she was abused due to the scars on her body. She came to us emaciated and extremely timid. Her eyes reflected so much trust and warmth that we could not resist giving her another chance at a good life.


• Breed: Rhodesian Ridgeback, Staffordshire Bull Terrier [Mix]
• Sex: Female
• Age: Young
• Size: Medium


Mosey is up to date with routine shots and has been spayed. For more information about this beautiful girl, please call Desert Haven at 575-894-1694 or email eliana4pets@gmail.com

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Letter from a Volunteer


Jeanette (center) with the kitchen crew

Jeanette Galliard is an Albuquerque resident and a nurse by trade who spends her R&R at Caballo Lake RV park for several days each month. During that time, Jeanette volunteers each day at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, helping wherever there is a need. She prepares the Tuesday main dish for the Pot-Luck lunch shared by the DHAR crew of work campers and local volunteers. Through the year, Jeanette also supplies the Refuge with fresh alfalfa and bales of straw that she brings from Albuquerque for the non-human residents of the sanctuary. Alfalfa and straw, especially, are difficult to obtain in Sierra County, where Desert Haven is located.

With Jeannete's permission, we are pleased to share a letter that she recently sent to us.

“July 2007 is my one-year anniversary of my volunteer work at Desert Haven Animal Refuge in Williamsburg, NM. This year brought many changes - staff, on- site campers, decorative ground enhancements, and a lot of adoptions of the residents “pets”.

What has remained CONSTANT is the wonderful care of the animals. That statement includes many things: dog training by Al Wilkinson which provides every dog with basic manners, so important as they enter a new home with an adoption. Another constant is the good food served that includes special treats. The Refuge is grateful to the donors of food that supplement what the Refuge provides: High protein food is every day nourishment. The “Old West” Trail is now fenced as a huge exercise area for the dogs. They can run twice daily most of the year here.
Current staff are devoted to the needs of all the animals; remembering that Desert Haven provides a home to peacocks, doves, chickens, rabbits guinea pigs, dogs and cats.

Executive Director Eliana Aubin, Facilities Manager Linda Estavillo, and Operations Manager, Frederica Loveless work together like a well-oiled machine to achieve the goals of the DHAR and of The Sierra County Humane Society. As a team, they are not only involved in the management of the facility, but, alongside the volunteer crew, they also actively participate in the care of the non-human residents as well as in the upkeep of the entire property.

The most important commodity at Desert Haven is the caring attitude towards the animals by the staff. Excellent animal care is first and foremost with each staff member and the reason I continue to volunteer. There IS Team Spirit but it is more than spirit that keeps it working. Each person has sincere respect for the other worker.

I have been asked by family and friends around the world to describe Desert Haven.
Desert Haven Animal Refuge is a piece of the Old West in Southern New Mexico. There is no pretense at elegance but a rustic atmosphere among the cacti and greasewood. There are six work-campers campsites with full hook-ups, all spacious enough to easily accommodate today’s large RVs. There is a picnic area which is covered for all to enjoy. There are three animal care living areas. “ The Cool Cat Neighborhood”, “Dog Town” and “Birdland & Animal House”(which includes the guinea pigs and rabbits.

Dog Town now has cement indoor/outdoor areas provided by a wonderful couple – George & DiAnna Schnetzer of Los Lunas, NM - who donated the funds to build them. Our dogs are kenneled indoors during the winter nights plus they all have their own dog houses indoors and outdoors. The Cool Cat Neighborhood has large bushes and wonderful “hiding places” to snooze in the sun or investigate. The Staff provides one-on-one attention to all the animals and everyone is encouraged to sit and play anytime.

I have spent over 40 years in the nursing field with our human kind. I’ve rescued many cats and dogs and it is a pleasure to spend time with other folks who share the love of animals and give the time to these delightful animals.

Respectfully Submitted.

Jeanette Galliard
Albuquerque, NM



Jeannette with Tripp, adopted from Desert Haven

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Week of 7/29/07 Humane Happenings


Charlie (female) recently arrived at Desert Haven with her look-alike sisters Austin & Tux, another sister, Montana, who is an all-black kitty, and a brother, Bandit, mostly white with an adorable black "mask".

This week we wish to thank a kind local individual who made a very generous - and anonymous -contribution specifically earmarked for a dinner at a local restaurant, to be enjoyed by all the resident-volunteer crew at Desert Haven Animal Refuge. This was a most thoughtful gesture to show one’s personal gratitude for their efforts, often above and beyond the line of duty. It was very much appreciated by everyone who attended.

DHAR crew member Debbie Peters has already left DHAR to spend five weeks vacation back East. With school starting very soon, local volunteer Molly Williams is getting ready to resume her job as a teacher. Several other volunteers, including Stan and Robbin Brodsky of Hillsboro, are getting ready for a vacation of their own before the summer is over. Consequently, we are hoping that those of our readers who wish to help us in some way consider giving us a hand for a couple of hours or more a week, either at Paws & Claws thrift shop or at Desert Haven. We certainly could use the extra help, especially at this time of the year, when out-of-state RV’ing volunteers prefer to spend their summer up North, as opposed to the Desert Southwest.

Friendly reminder: Last call for your Bullocks receipts. They must in by the end of the first week in August if they are going to be tallied and redeemed for cash at Bullocks Grocery Store. Last year, while 54 local entities participated in the Cash-for-Clubs program, our Society earned a total of $3,351.53 - over $1,000 more than the $2,361.37 we earned the year before, and $934.69 more than the 2006 second highest recipient organization: the ZIA Parents Teachers Organization (PTO). We wish to thank each and everyone who made it a point to give their Bullocks receipts to our organization, to benefit the domestic animals of Sierra County. With the help of our animal loving friends who save Bullocks receipts for us throughout the year, we hope to continue to redeem enough receipts to help keep our comprehensive Spay-Neuter program alive each year. We are very serious about the need to curb the on-going dogs and cats population explosion in Sierra County, and we urge pet owners interested in our help to have their animal sterilized, to contact us at 505-894-2778 for more information on both our Spay-Neuter and Spay-a-Stray programs.

Wish List: Canned dog and cat food. Desert Haven is open for visitors every Tuesday. For more information, contact us at 894-2778. You can also check- us out at
This week, we wish to thank a kind local individual who made a very generous - and anonymous -contribution specifically earmarked for a dinner at a local restaurant, to be enjoyed by all the resident-volunteer crew at Desert Haven Animal Refuge. This was a most thoughtful gesture to show one’s personal gratitude for their efforts, often above and beyond the line of duty. It was very much appreciated by everyone who attended.


DHAR crew member Debbie Peters has already left DHAR to spend five weeks vacation back East. With school starting very soon, local volunteer Molly Williams is getting ready to resume her job as a teacher. Several other volunteers, including Stan and Robbin Brodsky of Hillsboro, are getting ready for a vacation of their own before the summer is over. Consequently, we are hoping that those of our readers who wish to help us in some way consider giving us a hand for a couple of hours or more a week, either at Paws & Claws thrift shop or at Desert Haven. We certainly could use the extra help, especially at this time of the year, when out-of-state RV’ing volunteers prefer to spend their summer up North, as opposed to the Desert Southwest.

Friendly reminder: Last call for your Bullocks receipts. They must in by the end of the first week in August if they are going to be tallied and redeemed for cash at Bullocks Grocery Store. Last year, while 54 local entities participated in the Cash-for-Clubs program, our Society earned a total of $3,351.53 - over $1,000 more than the $2,361.37 we earned the year before, and $934.69 more than the 2006 second highest recipient organization: the ZIA Parents Teachers Organization (PTO). We wish to thank each and everyone who made it a point to give their Bullocks receipts to our organization, to benefit the domestic animals of Sierra County. With the help of our animal loving friends who save Bullocks receipts for us throughout the year, we hope to continue to redeem enough receipts to help keep our comprehensive Spay-Neuter program alive each year. We are very serious about the need to curb the on-going dogs and cats population explosion in Sierra County, and we urge pet owners interested in our help to have their animal sterilized, to contact us at 505-894-2778 for more information on both our Spay-Neuter and Spay-a-Stray programs.

Wish List: Canned dog and cat food. Desert Haven is open for visitors every Tuesday. For more information, contact us at 894-2778. You can also check- us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com and at http://www.DeserthavenAnimalRefuge.blogspot.com.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Viewpoint by Lois Reaver-Black


NOTE: This column was originally published in The Sentinel newspaper and the author has graciously granted permission to share it here.

This past week, we took a picnic and went to Percha Dam Park. On the way back, we stopped at Desert Haven Animal Refuge. Although it has been there quite a while, we had not visited there previously. It was a great place, and I encourage you, if you like animals, to stop in there on a Tuesday, which is visiting day.

We saw large enclosures for each dog—there were twelve dogs awaiting adoption—and each dog is walked twice daily, and the dogs seem happy. I am a dog person and was very pleased to see how well they are taken care of. There was no barking and the dogs all came up to visit with us and give us kisses through the fence. Each one has his or her own dog house, and the whole area was scrupulously clean. There were 23 cats in the cat enclosure. They are all together in a large fenced area, and there are many things for them to do, including climbing places and tunnels to explores. We went into the enclosure and petted many of the cats. They were all friendly and many of them just opened their eyes to see what was going on, then continued their naps. We saw bunnies, guinea pigs, doves, peacocks and even chickens. Probably there were others, too.

The entire place was clean and very well done. There was no smell as the whole area is cleaned every day. Volunteers do everything that is done here. Nobody is a paid employee. Eliana Aubin began the Refuge, but the entire place belongs to The Desert Haven, and even Eliana, who is there all the time, gets no salary.

There is a small RV campground right at the road, and those who park there pay their rent by working at the refuge. There is also a nice pet cemetery and a small fee is charged for each plot. Other than that, the Refuge is financed mainly by the Paws & Claws thrift store, donations and adoption fees. All the animals are sterilized and there is a good relationship with Dr Cardwell, our local veterinarian.

I encourage you to stop in to see what is going on. I am surely glad I did. It was great to see all these well cared for, healthy animals, and I congratulate Eliana and all the volunteers who make this possible. If you like animals, volunteer to help, as volunteers are always needed, and everything is done by them, including constructing the enclosures.
Lois Reaver-Black—T or C

Lois Reaver-Black is a former Truth or Consequences City Commissioner. A civic-minded individual involved in several local service organizations, Mrs Reaver-Black is dedicated to help make her community a better place to live.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Week of 7/22/07 Humane Happenings


Jessie and her puppies


(Above) Suede and Phoebe (Below) Freckles and Tatiana


The Sierra County Humane Society, Sierra County’s non-profit, all-volunteer animal welfare organization, is enrolled in the Cash-for-Clubs program, which ends on the last day of July and starts again in September. Please bring all your saved Bullocks receipts to Paws & Claws thrift shop. If the shop is closed, please drop them off inside the mailbox located in front of the building. They can also be dropped-off at the Williamsburg Post Office or at the T or C Library. Bullocks receipts received after the first weekend in August will not be tallied and potential revenues from them will be lost. Our Society uses the revenues from the Bullocks receipts to cover some of the costs of the Society’s Spay-Neuter and Spay-a-Stray programs.

We also collect aluminum cans that we redeem to benefit that same program. Please drop-off your bags of aluminum cans into the Can Corral at Paws & Claws, which is located adjacent to the thrift shop. Many thanks to Walt Allen for loading them up in his pick-up regularly and redeem them for us locally.

At this time, Desert Haven is home to several small kitties and to Jessie and her five four-weeks-old rat-terrier mix puppies, along with a number of adult felines and canines ready for adoption. Fritzy - one of the male puppies soon to be weaned - is already spoken for. In a few weeks, he will join Taco, the little Chihuahua who survived last year’s Hatch flood disaster and who has been spending many months at Desert Haven until he was adopted into the same household. Jessie with Fritzy and his litter-mates is pictured at the top of this message.

This week’s Wish List: Canned and dry dog and cat food, also bird seed, sunflower seeds and rabbit pellets. We ALWAYS need helpers at Paws & Claws thrift shop from Wednesday through Saturday. Two hours a week out of someone’s time would do greatly to help us keep up with the great donations that we receive almost daily, as well as keeping the shop as attractive as we possibly can under the circumstances. We also need able bodied folks to help with animal care at Desert Haven, any morning of the week.

For more information or to adopt one of the dogs and cats of Desert Haven, or to volunteer, contact us at 505-894-2778. Desert Haven is open for visitors every Tuesday. You can also check- us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Week of 7/15/07 Humane Happenings


Blue-eyed Chaco


Happy belated Birthday, Tim Kuzdrowski! At 15 years old, this well-traveled young man, who arrived several months ago to Desert Haven Animal Refuge from Pennsylvania by way of Alabama, together with mom Letha, Dad Ted and their companion animal family, has been a positive addition to the domestic animal sanctuary’s volunteer crew. It is refreshing to know that there are still good ol’ fashion, well-behaved teenagers like Tim, who, instead of always complaining of having nothing to do, choose to be actively involved in making a difference in their corner of the world, as they are on their way to entering adult life.

The Cash-for-Clubs program ends the last day of July to start again in September. Please bring all your saved Bullocks receipts to Paws & Claws thrift shop or drop them off in the mailbox in front of the building. Bullocks receipts received after the end of July will not be tallied and potential revenues from them will be lost. Last year, The Sierra County Humane Society collected the most receipts by far and received more funding than any organization involved in the program. All monies collected through the Cash-for-Club program help cover the costs of the Society’s Spay-Neuter and Spay-a-Stray program. Josephine Varnum is much appreciated for tallying the Bullocks receipts since the program started several years ago.

Interested in adopting young kittens ? Call Patricia at 894-2906, or Sharon at 743-0229. Desert Haven is now home to several small kitties not yet weaned. They will be up for adoption in a few weeks. We are also taking care of five tiny rat-terrier mix pups, soon to be weaned. All animals adopted from Desert Haven are sterilized and their shots up-to-date. If you wish to reserve a Desert Haven kitty or puppy, for the purpose of adoption, call us at 894-2778.

This week’s Wish List: Gallon jars. Canned and dry dog and cat food, also sunflower seeds and rabbit pellets. Helpers at Paws & Claws thrift shop when it is open for business from Wednesday through Saturday. Volunteers to help with animal care at Desert Haven, any morning of the week.

Plan to visit Desert Haven on Tuesday, call us at 505-894-2778 or check us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com, for a list of available animals to adopt.
By the way, do you know where your cat is tonight?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Week of 7/8/07 Humane Happenings


Proud Maxwell


As the summer heat continues, Sierra County’s animal loving folks should remember that domestic animals, living out-of-doors, either confined in enclosures or in their owners’ yards, should be given ample water and shade at all times. At this time of the year especially, when water is a life-saving necessity, dogs, many of them living at the end of a chain, should not have to go without, for any period of time. Dogs tied to a chain day after day, month after month are a heartbreaking sight. Not only because they can’t protect themselves from the extreme desert temperatures, but dogs, being pack animals, need the company of other dogs and of humans. The TorC Animal Control ordinance indicates that all dogs’ chains must be 25 ft or longer. It is up to us, to those of us who care enough, to insure that dog owners who keep their animal tied-up out-of-doors follow the ordinance. If you live in the city of T or C and see an animal being abused or even neglected, please contact the animal control officer on duty that day – a call to the TCPD will connect you with the ACO. Insure that your complaint is followed through. It may save a defenseless animal’s life.

This week, we wish to thank Williamsburg residents Kathy Elverum and her husband for donating and also delivering to Desert Haven a used side-by-side refrigerator-freezer in good condition. Their very generous donation is already being put to good use.

Tuesday morning, the DHAR crew enjoyed the visit of Nolen Jaynes of Williamsburg, together with her two dogs, Donnie and his brother Cinnamon. Both dogs were adopted from Desert Haven some months ago. Nolene even brought some tamales for the next Tuesday’s pot-luck lunch. A very thoughtful gesture indeed!

Many thanks to ALCO for their contributions of several large bags of dog and cat food. With the number of animals living at DHAR on a regular basis, we can always use donations of pet food, including canned and dry dog and cat food. Your contributions can be dropped off at Paws & Claws thrift shop at 109 East First Street.

As summer continues, we still need helpers from Wednesday through Saturday at Paws & Claws thrift shop, when it is open for business. We also need help at Desert Haven with animal care, any morning of the week. Contact Freddie for more information. Plan to visit Desert Haven on Tuesday, call us at 894-2778 or check- us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com, for a list of available animals to adopt. By the way, have you hugged your pet today?

Monday, July 9, 2007

Humane Happenings Week of 6/27/07


During the Dog Days of Summer- this time of the year obviously- Desert Haven Animal Refuge operates in low gear: no big projects are undertaken in the middle of summer. The non-human residents of Desert Haven take everyone’s energy and attention.

This week, we wish to acknowledge Dan Mason of Turtleback Pest Control, for his routine and substantial donations of dog and cat food. Home to 10 to 15 canines of all sizes, and 25 to 30 active felines, Desert Haven Animal Refuge always has dog and cat food on its wish list. We can also use canned pet food – a daily treat for all the dog and cat residents. Bullocks Grocery store, especially Judy in the Produce Department, deserves acknowledgment as well. Since Desert Haven became home to over 50 guinea pigs and rabbits several years ago, we have been able to pick-up, three days a week, large boxes full of fresh vegetable and fruit scraps. Freddie Loveless picks up and sorts their contents in the Birdland Snack-Shack. The cut-up veggies and fruits, served in oversize stainless steel platters each morning, look like giant – and very appetizing - chef salads. No wonder the little guinea-guys (and gals) look so healthy! Nothing goes to waste: what the guinea pigs and rabbits can’t eat goes to the chickens and peacocks. They all love fresh alfalfa, of course - Jeanette Galliard of Albuquerque keeps us well supplied - and it’s a permanent feature on their menu.

For a while now, Molly Williams and Stan Brodsky have generously given of their time several mornings each week to help with the daily care of the residents of DHAR, and it has been a blessing! We could use some more helpers at this time of the year - at Paws & Claws and DHAR. Contact Freddie at 505-894-2778 for more information.

The past few weeks, Paws & Claws volunteers have been sorting through an unusual amount of one-of-a-kind treasures and recyclable items, together with some of the best clothing and shoes that have ever been donated. We appreciate all the nice customers who visit the shop regularly, and we sincerely thank all the thoughtful folks who choose Paws & Claws to drop-off their donations. If you must drop off large items in front of the shop, please consider waiting until it is open to do so. Unscrupulous individuals have made it a habit to checkout and take-away - on a regular basis - any unsecured item donated to the thrift shop. Plan to visit Desert Haven on Tuesday or check- us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.com, for a list of available animals to adopt. Until next time, have a purr-fect week!