Thursday, May 31, 2007

Week of 5/27/07 Humane Happenings

Spring is in full splendor at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, in Sierra County New Mexico. At this time of the year, because of the recent heavy rains and the blooming desert plants, many of them donated by The Sierra Soil & Conservation District and long-time supporter Ardell Scartaccini, the entire property is an especially beautiful sight.

Recently, we welcomed for the first time to Desert Haven The Sassy Red Hat ladies, former commissioner Lois Reaver-Black and several other Sierra County residents. They toured the facility in the company of Freddie Loveless, the sanctuary’s Operations Manager and seasoned Tour Guide.

Ginny Nylen of Hawaii, Desert Haven’s “Administrative Assistant Extraordinaire” for the past three months, has now resumed her travels and is already on her way to new adventures across the continental United States. Anyone with office skills, computer knowledge and who can be depended on each week, willing to consider sharing office duties with Freddie, Eliana and Linda on Tuesdays?

Kathy Stoud, Desert Haven’s Animal Care Provider, recently relinquished her part-time position to take a full time job locally. We will miss her smile and outgoing personality. Our work camper from Texas - Karen West – is leaving Desert Haven two months before schedule, due to some unforeseen health problems. Now is the time for our members and friends to consider donating a few hours each week to help the volunteer crew take care of the animal and bird residents of Desert Haven. Walking dogs or caring for cats, birds, rabbits or guinea pigs a couple hours each week can bring a lot of pleasure to anyone who loves animals and at the same time help the on-site crew during this time of unexpected volunteer help shortage. Morning animal care starts at 8 AM - evening at 6 PM. If working at DHAR is not for you, consider helping at Paws & Claws thrift shop, which is open from Wednesday through Saturday each week and is the major fundraiser for the Sierra County Humane Society and Desert Haven. Contact Freddie at 505-894-2778 for more information.

This week’s “Thank-you” goes to Dot & Larry Plaatje, who donated dog food in memory of Katie the German Shepherd - the town’s canine-orphan for several years until she died on the streets of T or C. Katie is now buried at the ranch of Ron and Lois Turner.

Interested in knowing more about us? Visit Desert Haven on Tuesday or check us out at

Friday, May 25, 2007

Have you seen this dog?

Have you seen this poodle? He was kidnapped from downtown Truth or Consequences recently. If you have any information as to the dog's whereabouts, please e-mail Dave at

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Week of 5/25/07 Humane Happenings

Jessie, saved from Death Row, needs a forever family!

The Adopt-a-thon recently held at Desert Haven Animal Refuge was very successful. While Operation Manager Freddie Loveless greeted visitors, Facilities Manager Linda Estavillo gave tours of the facility. Several other DH volunteer team members also made themselves available, while at the same time working on various projects. The dogs and cats loved the extra attention, and the crew heard many compliments, not only about the peacefulness and the beautiful setting of the entire property, but also about its cleanliness, the way the animals were obviously being treated and how well they behaved. Everyone volunteering at DH that weekend was pleased with how the entire event had gone. This was “Teamwork” at its best! A job well done and many thanks to an awesome crew!
We are already planning to hold another Adopt-a-thon this coming October, on the Birthday of St Francis, Patron Saint of Animals. A life size statue of St Francis, a generous gift made to DH in 2000 by the Scartaccini Family, presides at the main entrance of Rainbow Bridge Pet Cemetery.

Benjy look-alike “Shaggy” made an impression on one of the visitors during the Adopt-a-thon, and the following week, the little fellow started a brand new life with his new human companion.

Shaggy, the "Benjy" look-a-like, was adopted in record time!

Cute-as-a-button, five-yrs. old rat terrier Jessie (see photo at top), and Ponette, a small black lab puppy, are now the newest members of the Canine gang at Dog Town. To know more about our dogs and cats ready for adoption, visit us at

Last Friday, Desert Haven held its first adoption clinic at The Movie Gallery in T or C. Linda Estavillo and Deb Peters attended with canines Suzy-Q and Winston and Feline Lover-Boy. Pat Armijo, The Movie Gallery Manager, offered to run a special through the month of June: a free rental for anyone who brings a bag of pet food to the store, to be donated to Desert Haven. Thanks a million, Pat.

With school soon over, we hope that young people will consider making the sanctuary part of their fun activities, as dog walkers and kitty cuddlers. Interested in staying in shape this summer and having fun doing it? Share Daily Animal Care with one of the finest volunteer crew one could wish to be acquainted with. Contact Freddie at 894-2778 for more information. We continue to need canned and dry pet food, also helpers at Paws & Claws thrift shop.

Letter from a Volunteer/Work Camper

Pete, Eliana, and Larry at work

It has been my privilege to volunteer at Desert Haven Animal Refuge for the past three months. Believe me, it was highly worthwhile and rewarding work.

Sierra County is extremely fortunate to call this fine animal refuge its own. In addition to housing and caring for domestic animals until they get adopted, or to the end of their natural life, the sanctuary also assists pet owners through its’ Spay-Neuter and Spay–A-Stray Programs, among other services.

The Executive Officer at Desert Haven, Eliana Aubin, Operations Manager Freddie Loveless, and the Facilities Manager, Linda Estavillo, run a very tight ship. I was impressed not only with the way the Work Camper and the local resident volunteer programs are being run, but also with the excellent care that is given to the animals, poultry and birds. The habitats are kept very clean and high quality food is consistently purchased, to be mixed with the food that is donated by caring folks. Twice daily exercise, along with obedience training, is provided to the dogs, who spend their days inside large fenced yards. The cats have a spacious and stimulating indoor-outdoor, all enclosed area in which to play and snooze. The dogs and cats are well socialized. The guinea pigs, rabbits, chicken, doves and peacocks live in large housing. There are always interesting projects in progress at Desert Haven; repairs and upgrades to the buildings and grounds, and improvements to the operational processes.

While handling Administrative Assistant duties at Desert Haven every Tuesday, I was impressed to see the amount of support the sanctuary receives from local and out-of-state animal loving people. Annual memberships, cash and in-kind donations, and purchases from the Paws and Claws Thrift Shop are an integral part of that support.

I am very glad to have had the opportunity to join the volunteer staff at the Animal Refuge. I wholeheartedly recommend to others with even a few available hours a week to give to a worthwhile cause, to take advantage of this truly enriching experience.

Virginia N.
Honolulu, Hawaii

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Week of 5/13/07 Humane Happenings

Time for Donnie's walk

Many changes have happened lately at Dogtown, the Canine gated community at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s No-Kill domestic animal sanctuary. Several long-time residents have now moved to their forever home, allowing others to be rescued.

A special thank-you goes to local volunteer Bootz who, for several years now, has shared Animal Care duties at DH, several times a week. Also, Bootz fostered Sassy in her home in Williamsburg while the cement work was being undertaken in Dog Town last Winter. The black lab mix rescued as a puppy four years ago adapted well to the home environment offered by Bootz and husband Jack. Recently, Sassy found her Pot o’ Gold and she is happy now, as the only companion animal of a wonderful human being who gives her all the attention she feels she deserves. With Sassy adopted, Mosey, the new kid on the block at Dogtown, is finally receiving what seems to be the very first chance at a normal life that she obviously had ever had. Mosey is a gentle female Ridgeback mix whose scarred and emaciated body could only begin to show a life of misery when she was rescued at DH. Still, her eyes reflected such trust that she melted the heart of everyone there as soon as she arrived. Already, Mosey looks and feels better and Dog Trainer Al Wilkinson is taking special care to insure that this precious creature is given the same opportunity as all the other canines of DH, to find her niche in a forever home.

With young Chowder and two years old Hammy also recently adopted out, fun-loving black schnauzer mix -Winston, spirited black & white young terrier mix - Suzy-Q and “Bengy” look-alike - Shaggy were taken in at DH. Shaggy made an impact at the Adopt-a-thon and is now adopted. The others are quickly assimilating to the Canine Gang: Lucky- Desert Haven’s mascot and Dogtown’s first resident, Vickie, “Queen of the Girls”, Marshall the loveable, Scotty the teenager, calm and collected Bud, shy little Bessie, Indy the acrobat, and Top-Dawg Maxwell. Also an integral part of Desert Haven, Hatch Flood rescues -Taco and Bell - who reside at the DH campground with their foster mom and two canine buddies their size. For more information on Desert Haven and our adoptable dogs and cats, contact us at 505-894-2778, or visit us at

CAN YOU HELP? Cooper, a feline rescued last year, is currently being fostered by Deb Peters, who currently resides at the RV Campground. Deb will be returning to New England for a few weeks this Summer and needs a temporary foster home for Cooper, who requires a special diet. If interested, call 505-894-1694.

Copper rolling in the sunshine

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Week of May 6 Humane Happenings

Chowder found his forever home!

Last week was very productive at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, thanks to a great group of animal loving folks who enjoy working together as a team – in fact, the “Old Timers” agree that it is one of Desert Haven’s finest. The Dynamic Duo - Ron Gjurovich and Ted Kuzdrovski - are now known to be able to move mountains if needed, and they are kept very busy. Letha has taken-up the task of thoroughly cleaning the main building every Tuesday. Her son Tim is picking-up responsibilities that more often than not, teenagers his age shy away from. Kathy Stoud, Desert Haven’s Animal Care provider, is not only handling grounds beautification as her pet project, but she can sure cook some good food for the buffet lunch. Deb Peters, Desert Haven’s Repair Parts Specialist, is using her National Guard training as Tool Shop Mgr to keep the bunkhouse ( DH’s tool shed ) in tip-top shape. Gene Trelewicz, who is currently building the Kitty Walk, continues to restore donated tools and to keep them in good working condition.

Linda Estavillo, DH Facilities Manager, is working closely with Eliana Aubin, the organization’s president and Desert Haven’s CEO. Freddie Loveless, DH’s Operations Manager and The Sierra County Humane Society’s secretary, keeps order in the office.

Local volunteers Robbyn Brodsky and Marian Parks tend to the newly planted bushes donated by The Sierra Soil and Conservation District and also by Ardell. Middle school student Sam Ahsley, Desert Haven’s youngest dog walker, helps keep his canines buddies in good shape.

Ginny Nylen, who volunteers in the office every Tuesday until she leaves the area in May, has been DH’s “Administrative Assistant Extraordinaire” and it will be a huge loss when she moves on.

Karen West and her two black labs, DH’s newest campground residents, is already showing strong Team spirit and the same interest in helping animals down-on-their luck as the rest of the crew.

With Sassy, Chowder and Hammy adopted within the past few weeks, Mosey, Suzy-Q, Winston and Shaggy were taken in at Dog Town. Until they get adopted out to their forever home, they can now enjoy life at its finest, the canine way, that is.

We continue to collect Bullocks receipts and aluminum cans, also dry and canned pet food. Contact us at 505-894-1694 or 505-894-2778 or visit us at