Sunday, February 25, 2007

Week of 2/25/07 Humane Happenings

With the weather cooperating, all the volunteers gathered at Desert Haven Animal Refuge last Tuesday had the opportunity to complete several important projects. Margaret Cacoperdo received the accolade of the day – the spaghetti and meatball dish, one of her specialties, was appreciated by everyone at lunch time. A Hi-Five is in order this week for CJ Ellis of Caballo Lake RV park for not only donating but also delivering to Desert Haven several used picnic tables that were set-up Tuesday in specific areas throughout the property. Having these picnic tables really makes a huge difference at Desert Haven. Thanks, CJ.

What if the kitties of The Cool Cat Neighborhood could talk? They would talk about James Rogers’ thoughtfulness in bringing them a large Styrofoam flat Tuesday, full of young wheat grass that he had patiently grown just for them.

Sasha, the gorgeous long-haired black-and-white kitty who was rescued a couple of years ago, settled down firmly to munch on the green delicacy, and she was accompanied by half a dozen other kitties, each one very interested in the new dish on the menu. It was such a pleasure to watch them! If someone has any catnip plants or seeds to share with us, James has offered to grow them with care for Desert Haven’s finicky felines. When the weather cooperates, the 9th Hole at Desert Haven - Ernie Valdez and Peter Altendorf’s innovative idea - will be rejuvenated after being dormant all Winter, and the canines of Dog Town will, once again, have the opportunity to enjoy walking and munching on the green turf during some of their play-time.

If you feed a stray or feral cat, consider all the unwanted offspring that can be generated by that animal during its lifetime. Please care enough to get it sterilized! The operation can be completely free of charge to you. Simply contact us at 505-894-2778 or 505-894-1694, and ask about our Spay-a-Stray program. There are so many cats in Sierra County, most of them do not belong to anybody - poor unwanted creatures who must fend for themselves to survive in a world that does not value their lives. Keeping them from reproducing by getting them sterilized is the only humane way to keep their population in check.

Wish List: Someone with a small bobcat to clear around 200 feet of fence line through light brush on relatively flat terrain. A green thumb to help keep the grounds maintained or work on small landscaping projects. Someone to take on a painting project or two. Contact us at 505-894-2778.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Featured Pets: Taco & Bell; Urchin



Taco and Bell are both canine victims from the Hatch Flood of the summer of 2006. Taco is a young Terrier-Chihuahua mix and Bell is a Terrier-mix. Although not of the same litter, they are life-long buddies. Their previous owners were displaced by the flood that ravaged the town of Hatch when several levees broke after days of very heavy rains (similar to the New Orleans flood, but on a much smaller scale.) Over a hundred homes were destroyed and their inhabitants lost everything.

Taco and Bell's owners took their little dogs with them when they were evacuated but, after several weeks, they realized that they could no longer care for them and relinquished them to Desert Haven.

Both are lap-dogs who thrive on affection. They are both sterilized and have all their shots.

For more information, contact Desert Haven at 505-894-2778.

URCHIN : Great News - Urchin/Sandy reunited with original family! Read the story here:

Urchin is a young female miniature Poodle who is slowly but surely getting better. This little one was found wandering in the snow near the Rio Grande River one freezing morning. The rescuer stumbled on her by accident. He was checking for tracks in the back of his shed near the river and found a shivering ball of dirty, overgrown, matted hair full of stickers. Urchin was terrified but too weak to run away. She was so traumatized that she did not let her rescuers come close for a long while. The man brought her home with him and called the Animal Control officer immediately while his wife contacted Desert Haven. Although we did not have the volunteer staff to care for another dog at the time or available space at Dog Town, we accepted to take her in. We knew that this dog would be put down immediately if brought to the city shelter.

One of our staff members has fostered Urchin since her arrival. For several weeks after her rescue, Urchin would stay under a bed and would not leave the safety of her new hideout until late at night, when the house was quiet and everyone asleep. She would then eat some food and drink water from the bowls in the kitchen nearby, relieve herself on a puppy pad especially for her, and go back to her hiding place. Now Urchin is socializing with the two other little dogs at her foster home. Although a little shy with strangers, she responds well to affection. She is neatly groomed and has been sterilized. Her shots are now up-to-date.

Urchin is ready to move on to a caring home where she can find the life-long love and security that she so badly needs and deserves. To contact Desert Haven or Urchin's foster mom for more information, call 505-894-2778.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Weekof 2/18/07 Humane Happenings

A big thank-you is in order to The American Legion Post 44 in EB, for their very generous donation towards funding several upgrades at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, owned and operated by The Sierra County Humane Society, Inc.. The American Legion Post 44 continues to be very sensitive to the needs of Sierra County, and the on-going generosity of its members and leadership is always appreciated.

This week has been full of activities, both at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Paws & Claws thrift shop, and also on behalf of the domestic animals of Sierra County - for whom decent folks need to speak out when the need arises.

Here in New Mexico, and especially in Sierra County, domestic animals too often suffer at the hands of humans. Companion animals such as dogs and cats are considered cheap commodities that can be discarded when in the way and no longer wanted. Domestic animals need us to speak out for them, because they can’t. If some of our readers witness animal cruelty or neglect of any type, there are actions they can take: Call Dispatch at 894-7111 or 894-6617 - demand an investigation and file a formal complaint. Do not stop there: if what you saw is not being taken seriously and warrants further action in your opinion, notify The Sierra County Humane Society at 894-2639 as well as Animal Protection of New Mexico at 1-505-265-2322, ext 21. If you suspect that what you witnessed may have to do with any dog or cock fighting activity, also contact the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) at 1-707-795-2533 and the Humane Society of the US at 1-202-452-1100. The HSUS offers rewards up to $2,500 for tips leading to the bust of an animal fighting ring and will protect the caller’s anonymity.

Paws & Claws Thrift shop helps fund The Sierra County Humane Society pet sterilization program. If you need help to have your dog or cat sterilized, pick-up a spay-neuter form at the local police station, El Rancho Poodles or Paws & Claws thrift shop. You will receive a rebate certificate of $40 for each female, and $30 for each male sterilized under the program. You will also be eligible to receive another $5 to $15, the information on how to receive it will be sent to you with the SCHS rebate certificate.

Wish List: Volunteers – Pet food. Contact us at 505-894-2778 for more information.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Week of 2/11/07 Humane Happenings

Happy belated Birthday, DiAnna and George Schnetzer, February 6 and 10, respectively. DiAnna & George Schnetzer are strong supporters of The Sierra County Humane Society & Desert Haven Animal Refuge and thanks to their generosity, the indoor-outdoor kennels, Cat Patio & Howdy Room now have easy-to-clean cement floors with appropriate drainage. What a difference it makes!

With the cement work done, Walt Allen in hanging back the kennels’ gates that George Schnetzer cut down to size so they can fit over the new floors. Once Gene Trelewicz has completed the several Cat Walkways and Jack Gillem’s kitty hide-outs are painted and installed, the felines of the Cool Cat Neighborhood will have many new interesting “high” places to investigate at their leisure.

Last Tuesday’s meal was a success - thanks to Jeanette Galliard’s Italian stuffed shells, Roy Lucas’ hot chili, and Kathy Stoud’s Chinese stir-fry, among other tasty dishes - something for everyone’s taste!

Two small Hatch flood canine victims are ready for adoption: Taco, a black terrier-Chihuahua male and Belle, a terrier mix. They are lifelong lap-dog buddies in need to be adopted, hopefully together. Urchin, a female miniature poodle, was rescued during one of the coldest cold spells in Sierra County’s history. It is obvious that little Urchin lived on her own for some time before being rescued, as she was very traumatized by her ordeal. Thanks to a caring foster mom, Urchin is well on her way to full recovery. If you wish to check-out Taco, Belle and Urchin, also Indy, Bessie, Bud, Lucky, Chowder, Sassy, Vickie, Hammy, Marshall and Maxwell, and our gang of 25 kitties, visit DH on Tuesday or by appointment at 894-2778. While surfing the web, consider visiting our sites at, and our blog at

With Spring almost here, Desert Haven needs a volunteer or two interested in helping keep-up with the landscaping of the property, including Central Bark, the area adjacent to the Main Building. Along with dog walkers and kitty cuddlers throughout the week, we need a volunteer or two to share some of the office work on Tuesday, as well as someone to paint several projects on location. This week’s Wish List: step ladder – garden tools - Dry & canned dog food - rabbit pellets - chicken scratch - bird seeds - cat food. For more information, contact us at 505=894-2778.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Week of 2/4/07 Humane Happenings

Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s non-profit domestic animal sanctuary, has been undergoing major upgrades these past few weeks. Inclement weather and heavy snowfalls have retarded the completion of the cement floors in the Cat Patio and inside the individual dog kennels. In these times of volunteer help shortage, much of it due to the unusually cold Winter season, the volunteers are looking forward to getting back to the routine at DH. Among other local helpers, Bootz, who has been donating much time each week over the past two years, is not only sharing animal care regularly, but, while the cement work is underway, she also fosters Sassy, DH’s gentle and well behaved black lab mix. That in itself has been a huge help during these weeks of upheaval at Dog Town. Jeanette Galliard, who lives and works in Albuquerque, has been spending a lot of last week - reserved for her R & R in Caballo - at Desert Haven instead, to give the smaller than usual crew a much needed hand every day. Her cheerful personality makes her a pleasure to be around.

Many thanks to Jane Fandey for the fantastic job she is doing with the craft and sewing items going to Paws & Claws, to Chuck Wells for the walkway at the entrance of The Cool Cat Neighborhood and to Jack Gillem for building several kitty hide-outs. Once painted in cheerful colors (What about it, Bill?), they will become part of the new 6 ft high walkways that Gene Trelewicz is building around the Catwalk.

A special pat on the back goes to Walt Allen and Gene Trelewicz who can always be counted on whenever needed, also to Linda Estavillo, Diana Rivera, Roxie Bonsack, Steve Hawkins, Freddie Loveless and Eliana Aubin, for going above and beyond the line of duty in whatever they do.

Welcome to DH, Kathy Stoudt!

Dependable Dog Walkers, Kitty Cuddlers and office oriented individuals are needed every Tuesday at DH. We also need dependable volunteer helpers at Paws & Claws thrift shop. Interested in donating a couple of hours each week to help a worthwhile cause? Contact us at 505-894-2778 for more information or visit DH on Tuesday.

While surfing the web, please visit our sites for DH’s list of dogs and cats available for adoption:, and

This week’s Wish List: Dry dog food including but not limited to Beneful and Pedigree. We thank our animal loving friends, for their on-going support. It is needed and appreciated!