Thursday, May 24, 2007
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.