Friday, June 29, 2007

4th of July - Humane Happenings


Keep your pets safely at home on the 4thof July. While 4th of July fireworks can be exciting for any patriotic person, it can be a stressful and chaotic event for your pets. The loud noises and flashing lights caused by fireworks can spook household pets and cause wildlife animals to flee their natural habitats, possibly leaving their young behind. Some pets have been known to become so frightened during a fireworks show that they have jumped through window glass to run away.

Here are a few tips to help keep all animals safe this 4th of July:

* Leave your pets at home. Most pets don't enjoy the crashing and flashing caused by fireworks and even the most trustworthy pet could become scared and run away.
* Don't leave your pets in the car during a fireworks display, as the temperatures inside the car may rise drastically.
* Don't leave your outdoor pets unattended, even in a fenced yard. The chaos may cause them to panic and try to escape.
* Be sure your pets are wearing proper identification in case they DO become lost during the events. IDs can help your pet find its way home to you again. Microchips are the most reliable forms of ID possible. You can contact your veterinarian about getting one for your pet, or contact the Sierra County Humane Society for more information.
* If you know your pet usually becomes scared at loud noises, such as during thunderstorms, be sure to keep them in a safe room with lots of treats and favorite toys to help them alleviate any anxiety caused by the exploding fireworks. You may also like to speak with your vet to find some herbal remedies safe for your pet to help keep them calm during stressful times.
* If you have horses or other animals usually kept in stalls, be sure they are kept calm during the events so they don't thrash around and possibly injure themselves.
* Remember not to set off any of your own fireworks near a wildlife-inhabited area. The bursting noises and flashing lights may disturb the wildlife causing them to leave their natural nesting areas. And, any stray sparks caused by the careless use of fireworks can cause serious damage by starting a forest fire

Featured Pet - Toesie

Toesie is so named because of the extra toe on his front paws. He started life as an alley cat, miles from Desert Haven, abandoned by his owners who left the area without him. Toesie was very lucky to be at the right place at the right time. A Good Samaritan rescued him and brought him to Desert Haven in 2005. Toesie has found his place in the world at the Cool Cat Neighborhood. He is a happy and contented cat and deserves a home of his own.

If you have room in your heart and your home for this adorable boy, contact Desert Haven at 575-894-2778.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Week of 6/20/07 Humane Happenings

The Sierra County Humane Society wishes to remind everyone that The Movie Gallery’s owner, Pat Armijo, is donating a free movie rental during the month of June, in exchange for pet food (canned or dry) designated for Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s No-Kill domestic animal sanctuary. A local business helping a local charitable organization – the way to go!

An accolade is also in order for The Herald, whose Publisher Mike Tooley officially approved the designation of the search engine for all of The Herald’s computers, allowing the Sierra County Humane Society, inc. to receive half of the revenues generated. Any business wishing to support our local animal welfare organization can use just as it would any search engine. It’s powered by Yahoo!, so you get great results. Be sure to list the Sierra County Humane Society, Inc. as the charity you want to support.

Our non-profit organization is indebted to the local media for the space reserved in the newspapers for the weekly “Humane Happenings” column. For many years now, we have been given the opportunity by the local media to inform readers, week after week, about all the good that our volunteers do to help make Sierra County a better place to live. We owe the media a huge thank-you indeed!

Please continue to save your Bullocks receipts, they means $$ to our Society, which in turn uses the funds generated to cover the costs of our Spay-Neuter and Spay-a-Stray programs. We also collect aluminum cans. Please drop them off at Paws & Claws thrift shop at 109 East First Street, in T or C, or at Desert Haven, whichever is most convenient for you.

This week’s wish list: canned dog and cat food, bird seeds, rabbit pellets and chicken scratch. Rubber tubs to be used as swimming pools for some of our water-loving canines. A refrigerator in working condition for Dog Town, to replace the now-extinct one generously donated to us several years ago. Any chest-type freezer you no longer want can also be donated to Desert Haven - we use them successfully for rodent-proof pet food storage.

The companion animal of your choice may be waiting for you at Desert Haven! Plan to visit the sanctuary on Tuesday, or call us at 505-894-2778 for an appointment. You can also check- us out at Until next time, have a purr-fect week!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Week of June 17 Humane Happenings

Feather in dreamland

Aluminum cans and Bullocks receipts continue to be collected by The Sierra County Humane Society and when redeemed, the funds earned help cover some of the costs of sterilizing companion animals of Sierra County residents. Both our Spay-Neuter and Spay-a-Stray programs are crucial in curbing the domestic animal overpopulation in our area. Applications for the Spay-Neuter program can be picked up at the T or C Police station, El Rancho Poodles and Hot Springs Animal Clinic. To take advantage of the Spay-a-Stray program in which the cost of sterilizing a feral cat that you care for is completely free to you, contact us at 505-894-2778 or 894-1694.

When advertising free to a good home a dog, puppy, cat or kitten, please insure that the so-called “good home” does not turn out to be a horrifying experience for the animal you no longer want. No animal deserves to be tortured, maimed or even “dumped” in some obscure section of Sierra County, or left to slowly die, tied-up in some backyard, because nobody really cares. As shameful as it is, this fate happens right here in Sierra County, perhaps even in your own neighborhoods, to “Free to good home” dogs or cats. The Sierra County Humane Society is not a law enforcement Agency, consequently, the local law enforcement departments and Animal Control Officers are the proper authorities to contact first when you witness a domestic animal in distress or someone abandoning one. According to Police Chief Russ Peterson, you can remain anonymous if you wish.

A friendly reminder to our Internet aficionados: Do you wish to help Desert Haven earn $$ while you search? is a new search engine that donates half its revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. You use it just as you would any search engine, and it's powered by Yahoo!, so you get great results. Just go to Be sure that Sierra County Humane Society is listed as the charity you want to support. Just 500 of us searching four times a day will raise about $7300 in a year without anyone spending a dime! And, be sure to spread the word!

Wish List: Canned and dry dog and cat food. Rubber tubs to be used as individual swimming pools for the canines of Dog Town.

Interested in volunteering, or in knowing more about us and our dogs and cats available for adoption? Visit Desert Haven on Tuesday or check us out at Contact us at 505-894-2778 or 894-1694.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Letter from a Desert Haven visitor and supporter!

We received permission to share this letter from a Desert Haven visitor:

"Recently I came upon this website for Desert Haven while searching the web. My daughter and I had the delightful experience of visiting Desert Haven a number of times over the last few years. This No Kill Animal Refuge was created by hard working, committed volunteers and is funded strictly by donations and the money they receive from their local Thrift Store “PAWS & CLAWS”. Not one person, even the CEO receives any kind of stipend or salary. We had the opportunity to watch this grow in various stages with several visits we had through New Mexico. It has developed into a wonderful haven for abandoned and abused animals. This past summer we went through Williamsburg, NM and stopped to see what progress had been made at the refuge. They not only have dogs and cats, but also peacocks, doves, chicken and roosters as well as guinea pigs and bunny rabbits. My 6 year old daughter was thrilled to be able to enter the cages and pet and hold the animals in their natural setting. The cats have an entire area completely enclosed with open air and a room attached for them to play and frolic. The dogs are not penned in tiny cages as is the traditional method for shelters, but have large spaces to run which are fenced in for protection with their own doghouses. They are walked by volunteers from the community and the workampers who come to Desert Haven through their workamper program. Areas are named in humorous fashion and there is even a Pet Cemetary that people can use to give their beloved animals a proper burial. It’s refreshing to find a loving oasis in a barren desert where animals are often neglected and mistreated. Desert Haven keeps their animals for life in the event that they are not adopted by a caring family. The animals have no threat of euthanasia and live out their lives in an environment filled with loving care. If you are passing through New Mexico, be sure to stop by to visit Desert Haven. You may find that you won’t want to leave!"

Lorena N.
Havelock, North Carolina

Thank you, Lorena! We loved having you and your daughter visit us. Thank you for writing and for your continued support.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Week of 6/10/07 Humane Happenings

Jerry Belcher passed away recently. His family requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s No-Kill Domestic Animal sanctuary. Sierra County was Jerry Belcher’s home – his love for the animals of Sierra County will live on in the hearts of everyone involved at Desert Haven - a worthy tribute to a worthy man.

The President of The Sierra County Humane Society attended a hearing in District Court last week. Along with domestic abuse charges brought up against a local man, to which he pleaded guilty, he also pleaded guilty to the Cruelty to Animals charge regarding the live cat he dangled by the tail in front of a pit bull and a boxer inside an enclosure. Sentencing will take place in a few weeks. In light of this well-publicized case, the District Attorney’s office informed SCHS President Eliana Aubin, that, from now on, the Sierra County Humane Society will be treated as the victim in each animal cruelty case brought up in District Court. This is a huge step forward on behalf of the domestic animals of Sierra County.

Who would have believed nineteen years ago, when the newly organized SCHS was struggling to overcome major obstacles along the way, that someday, in Sierra County, the same animal welfare organization would be invited to become, in a court of law, “The Voice of the Voiceless” – the voice of the county’s domestic animals? A milestone indeed! District Attorney Clint Wellborn deserves the applause of all animal loving folks who are outraged at the growing number of animal cruelty incidents in our area.
We continue to need donations of moist and dry dog and cat food, sunflower and birdseeds, chicken scratch, and rabbit food. Every little bit counts, as our animals and birds are active, healthy and they simply love to eat.

Until the price of gas goes down, several folks, who came from various parts of Sierra County, have stopped driving to DH to help with daily care or with projects on Tuesdays. Consequently, we need volunteer help this summer, at Desert Haven and at Paws & Claws.

Interested in volunteering, or in knowing more about us and our dogs and cats available for adoption? Visit Desert Haven on Tuesday or check us out at We can also be contacted at 505-894-2778 or 894-1694.