Monday, January 29, 2007

Week of 1/28/07 Humane Happenings

This week has been one of positive changes at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, the no-kill domestic animal sanctuary owned and operated by The Sierra County Humane Society, Inc. The cement work in Dog Town and The Cool Cat Neighborhood, not yet completed, is well underway. This upgrade could not have been made possible without the generosity of George and DiAnna Schnetzer of Los Lunas, two wonderful individuals who have shown, time and time again, their strong support of our work of love for domestic animals down-on-their-luck.

We also appreciate the generosity of the leadership of the local Moose Lodge for donating the funds to purchase several much needed dog houses to be used in the quarantine & observation kennels, now in the planning stage.

If some of our readers are interested in adopting (or fostering) a dog or a cat currently residing at DH, consider visiting the refuge. Bookmark this page or add it your favorites: The Desert Haven blog and its new “Pet-of-the- Week” feature are the brainchild of Camille Pronovost, who, in December of 2006, stopped at DH with her husband Ed on their way to Tucson AZ. What was supposed to be a two- nights’ stay for this dynamic RVing couple turned out to be several weeks, during which they gave all of themselves to help us help animals in need. You are remembered fondly, Ed and Camille.

While surfing the web, please consider visiting our sites for our more complete list of dogs and cats available for adoption: and

Not yet on the web site: Urchin, a young miniature poodle, rescued during the first catastrophic cold spell in December. This little one is ready for an especially good home, where he can forget his obvious trauma of having had to fend for himself for weeks - perhaps months - during one of the worse cold spells in Southern New Mexico history.

Taco and Belle, two inseparable Hatch Flood victims, are Chihuahua & Terrier-mix hoping to get adopted – hopefully together - into a loving home. For more information on these and other animals available for adoption, please contact us at 505-894-2778.

We continue to need volunteers to donate a few hours a week at Desert Haven and Paws & Claws thrift shop. The sanctuary is open to visitors every Tuesday, from 9AM to 4 PM, or by appointment.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Featured Pets: The Story of Marshall and Maxwell

A couple of years ago, a Good Samaritan was riding his bike one morning on a secluded trail at the edge of the Rio Grande. He discovered two very young pups, barely weaned. They came out of the brush, dirty and in poor health, and attempted to follow him. The man realized that they had been abandoned so he could not leave them there to die. He picked them both up, brought them to Desert Haven and promised to help care for them and train them until a home was found for them. He was true to his word and the brothers were named Marshall and Maxwell.

Marshall (left) with another dog named Curly-Q and Maxwell (right) as puppies

Maxwell (center) "kisses" Curly-Q

and Maxwell...
...grew up into big happy dogs. Marshall found his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow in August, 2006 - what seemed to be a happy ending after his sad start in life. A senior lady adopted him and brought him home to live with her. She sent this letter to Desert Haven some weeks later:
"Dear Friends,
Just wanted to tell you how Marshall is doing. He is the nicest dog. He follows me everywhere or lays at my feet. One thing was funny: We have a dog next to us that barks a lot. At the end of the day, he was really barking. Marshall went to the back door and let out the biggest "woof". It surprised me and shut-up the other dog. Marshall had had enough of this barking and he said "NO"! I just sat there and laughed. I really enjoy him and he is smart and well trained. So glad he was the one I picked. "

- E. R.

Unfortunately, Marshall's new mom, who lived alone, became very ill. Her out-of-state daughter convinced her to move in with her and her family. So Marshall was brought back to Desert Haven. He adapted back into the routine of Dog Town, but he longs for his forever loving home, where he can, once again, share his days with a special human friend.

Maxwell, too, was adopted when he was still a growing pup. Within a couple of months, his new owner brought him back to Desert Haven. Maxwell had grown to become a larger dog than anticipated. Beside that, in his new environment Maxwell was being left alone in a fenced yard all day and he was unhappy. Maxwell was used to having several canine playmates at Desert Haven. Finally, his new owner realized that he was not ready to take care of the needs of a dog like Maxwell.

Maxwell is a very lovable dog who enjoys the company of people and who would thrive in an environment where he can be involved in routine activities. Maxwell wants to be an integral part of someone's life, not left alone and forgotten in some backyard. Maxwell gets along with most dogs, as long as he is in charge, but he would much prefer to spend his days with a special person who will show him the affection that he needs and deserves.

If you may have room in your home for either of these wonderful dogs, please contact Frederica (Freddie) at 505-894-2778 for more information. Or if you have room in your heart, but not in your home, consider making a donation of any size toward their care until a "forever family" can be found for them. For your convenience, click the PayPal button (above and to the right) to be taken to our secure server. We can accept MasterCard or Visa and you don't even need a PayPal account. And please, forward this message to every pet lover you know.

Maxwell thanks you. Woof!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Week of 1/21/07 Humane Happenings

What a week! Desert Haven Animal Refuge looks like a typical Winter Wonderland that some of us remember from our former life in other parts of the country, where heavy snow was the norm in the winter. The cement work, made possible through a very generous contribution from George and DiAnna Schnetzer of Los Lunas, had just begun at Dog Town and the Cool Cat Neighborhood when the storm hit. While we are all waiting for it to subside a bit to allow the work to continue, the residents of Dog Town and The Cool Cat Neighborhood seem to be the only creatures not concerned about the temporary inconvenience that the cement work is creating.

Thanks to Gene Trelewicz, who recently completed several gang-ways that now run way-up-high under the oversized roof overhang of The Cat Neighborhood’s service area, many felines are now able to survey the progress of the cement job from their 8 ft high position of authority, in both the Cat Patio and the Howdy room.

Donnie was adopted recently. The last of a litter of 8 heeler-boxer mix pups born in the wild under a creosote bush during a catastrophic rain storm two years ago, one week old Donnie and his siblings were discovered and brought to Desert Haven, together with their mother who, with no food or shelter, had kept all eight of them alive and plump through their ordeal. Everyone at Desert Haven is thrilled that well-behaved Donnie has finally melted someone’s heart and is now living the good life at his new home.

Marshall is another Desert Haven canine resident, abandoned along the river as a small pup some months ago and brought to Desert Haven.

Marshall was adopted in 2006, but his new mom, a senior who lived alone, recently became very ill and her out-of-state daughter took of her home with her. Marshall, a well-mannered shepherd mix who had quickly adapted to living the good home-life, was brought back to Desert Haven. Contact us at 505-894-2778 for more information on Marshall and other adoptable dogs and cats at the sanctuary.

The Annual Membership meeting for the Sierra County Humane Society will take place on February 5th at 2 PM, at the home of Frank and Jody Koch (call 505-740-1696 for directions).

Wish list: Desert Haven’s felines and canines would like more canned food, to heavily supplement their dried-food diet during cold spells. We need volunteer helpers to donate a few hours each week help care for the furry and feathered residents of Desert Haven.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Week of 1/14/07 Humane Happenings

Desert Haven Animal Refuge is home to a number of adoptable dogs and cats. Although we do not list each and every one of them in this weekly column, we trust that folks, who are wondering whether or not they are ready to adopt a companion animal at this time in their life, will consider visiting the sanctuary regularly. While they spend quality time with the dog or cat that seems most suited to their lifestyle, they will also be able to decide if they are truly ready to include that animal in their daily life. Adopting a companion animal is not for everyone, but everyone can share quality time with a dog or a cat, and Desert Haven is a wonderful setting where that time can be shared.

One of the goals of The Sierra County Humane Society is to help educate school-age children on the importance of compassion for all the creatures - human and non-human - who share the Earth with us. Unfortunately, dog fighting and cockfights are still a way of life in some local households. Hopefully, what some folks call “their tradition” will finally be rightfully and overwhelmingly recognized as simple, old-fashion animal cruelty and dealt with accordingly by the local law enforcement authorities. Getting rid of this scourge will be a source of pride for all the decent folks who make Sierra County their home.

Thank-you, Barbara Korzen, Richard & Annie Millard, Lee Garner, Vicki and Fritz Sorg, Mary-Jane & Bill Clellan and everyone who contributes regularly, for helping us feed the feathered and furry creatures of Desert Haven. A special thank-you goes to Steve Hawkins for covering some of the veterinary costs generated by one of our kitties’ recent illness. George & DiAnna Schnetzer of Los Lunas are spending several days at Desert Haven while they oversee the cement work that they are funding for The Cool Cat Neighborhood and Dog Town. They never come empty-handed, and the car loads of pet food that they bring at every one of their trips to DH are always very appreciated.

Wish list: someone to donate or build a much needed 6 ft long clothes rack for Paws & Claws thrift shop - Sturdy wheelbarrow or garden cart - Household bleach – Brooms - Dog Walkers and Kitty Cuddlers - Someone to help our team deep-clean The Inn at Dog Town and our Cool Cat Neighborhood on Saturday and Tuesday mornings. For more information, contact us at 894-2778.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Week of 1/7/07 Humane Happenings

A brand new year is underway – a new beginning. Funded in November of 1989, The Sierra County Humane Society is now 17 years old. Many years ago, Mr. Joe and Alta Mae Barnes had attempted to ameliorate the deplorable conditions endured by the domestic animals housed at the City Pound and throughout the community. They tried several times over the years to rally other folks to the cause, but were unsuccessful- not enough local folks would stand up and be counted. It took a few determined people to start the struggle again in 1989, and finally give a voice to companion animals in Sierra County. The Desert Haven Animal Sanctuary property was purchased in 1999 - In 2001, it opened for business to house its first residents – a large flock of ring-neck doves. Then a number of unwanted guinea pigs, some Easter rabbits and miniature chicks were dropped off at the facility, which had to accommodate them accordingly - that was 2002. Also in 2002, the first residents of the feline quarters arrived. In 2003, the construction of Dog Town had begun.

At this time, the sanctuary is home to over 200 feathered and furry creatures, from ring-neck & white doves to miniature hens & roosters, rabbits, guinea pigs, ducks, peacocks, as well as cats and dogs. The positive energy created by Desert Haven’s animal-oriented environment allows The Sierra County Humane Society to also be actively involved in curbing the county’s dog and cat overpopulation through a spay-neuter program which rebates from $30 to $40 per dog and cat that is sterilized under the program. Through its Spay-a-stray program, every feral cat in Sierra County that is cared for by a Good Samaritan can also be sterilized, free of charge to that animal loving individual. The SCHS Spay-Neuter and Spay-a-stray program both drastically lower the number of unwanted puppies or kittens and reduce the number of homeless and abandoned companion animals throughout Sierra County. For more information on both programs, contact us at 505-894-2778. Since the Humane Society initiated its Spay-Neuter program in 1990, an average of 150 animals are sterilized each year, with the help of the non-profit organization.

Wish List: At Desert Haven: Dog walkers and kitty cuddlers - Folks to help with animal care during the week or help with projects and office work on Tuesdays. At Paws & Claws thrift shop: helpers during business hours. Contact Freddie at 505-894-2778.