Friday, November 23, 2007

Week of 11/18/07 Humane Happenings

The Holiday season is already here. Throughout the next several weeks, Desert Haven Animal Refuge (owned and operated by the Sierra County Humane Society) will be experiencing a volunteer shortage. Some of its crew members are already scheduled to leave soon so they can spend the holidays out-of-state, with their family. Extra helping hands are needed to replace them temporarily.

It takes special folks to volunteer - it's not for everyone, as not everyone is willing to give of his or her precious spare time, even only for a couple of hours a week. Those who care enough to want to do something worthwhile with the time on their hands find interesting and very rewarding volunteer opportunities at DHAR, either as helpers in The Cool Cat Neighborhood, or at Birdland & Animal House, helping the crew feed the birds, chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs. Others may prefer to walk the small dogs on a leash, or prepare their food, also sweep their living quarters. All the animal residents of DHAR thrive on the special attention that volunteers always give them.

Currently, Animal Care at Desert Haven starts at 8 AM, and again at 4 PM. With the Old West Pavilion completed, dog walkers have the opportunity to relax, comfortably sitting on the covered bench, while watching the small groups of resident dogs in their care chase each-other playfully throughout the large fenced area, or run after anything that moves, never catching it, of course… If interested in helping out during the holidays, either plan to visit us on a Tuesday or contact Freddie at 894-2778 to let her know what day – morning or evening – that you would prefer to help.

A huge pat on the back is in order to our local Animal Care volunteers: Marilyn Cassidy comes twice a week. She concentrates on Birdland and The Cool Cat Neighborhood. Molly, a special Ed teacher at the T or C elementary school, handles all the laundry generated in the cat section. She also helps with Animal Care whenever her work schedule allows. Bootz, an integral part of the volunteer crew for several years now, is very much appreciates the three mornings a week that she handles dog care with other crew members at DHAR. These ladies are wonderful! We need more of them!

At this time, canned pet food is in high demand, now that the Desert Southwest nights are getting much colder as the winter season approaches. It is mixed with the dry food - and we do have hungry dogs and cats at DHAR! We also need a good used refrigerator.

For information on how to support our non-profit, animal welfare organization in some way, contact us at 894-2778 or 894-1694. You can also check-us out at and

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Week of 11/4/07 Humane Happenings

Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s no-kill domestic animal sanctuary, is a very busy place at this time of the year. While big projects are being planned and started, the crew continues to make the non-human residents their priority one, and at the same time keep the facility in good state of repairs. This past Tuesday, and with winter rapidly approaching, Beverly DeGarmo winterized Birdland with straw donated by Jeanette Galliard. Ron Gjurovich and Deb Peters winterized the water lines – lots of water lines to winterize at DHAR! While John Sphar sorted building materials in the bone yard, Tim Day and Carlton Morse strengthened several enclosures in Dog Town, Kathryn Sphar and Addie Day revitalized the DHAR kitchen, and Ben DeGarmo completed the painting of the inside walls in the newly built visitors’ entrance to the main building. Many folks worked very hard and for many months the past two years, to get the new visitors’ entrance off the ground. The spacious porch is built, thanks to Walt Allen and his crew. The handicap ramp, built and covered some months ago, has now been stained, thanks to Ron Gjurovich. Soon, and with a little help from Walt Allen and Gene Trelewicz, who have the finishing touches on their to-do list, the main entrance to the office building and dining quarters will be finally completed. The sunny addition makes a world of difference at the DHAR headquarters.

Desert Haven has a strong and skilled team oriented crew this Fall. Dolly Loftus, DHAR new volunteer Administrative Assistant, is now on board - and not a week too soon. This retired local teacher is making a great addition to the volunteer office crew already in place. Linda Estavillo, DHAR’s Facility Manager, is accomplishing wonders at DHAR. Her determination, enthusiasm and her leadership skills have earned her the respect and affection of the entire crew. Eliana Aubin, DHAR Executive Director, has found a skilled and effective assistant in Linda, also in Freddie Loveless, DHAR Camp Host and Operations manager for the past four years. Freddie is also the sanctuary’s first long-term work camper and its “oldest” permanent human resident.

When one starts to think that Desert Haven is operated by an all-volunteer crew, and that it is successful, Whoa! What an achievement in itself!

This week’s wish list: A good used refrigerator. Canned dog and cat food, volunteers at Paws & Claws thrift shop, dog walkers and kitty cuddlers at Desert Haven. For information on how to support our non-profit, animal welfare organization in some way, contact us at 575-894-2778 or 894-1694. You can also check-us out at

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Featured Pet - Scotty

"Scotty is well named. I can picture him poking about in the brambles of the misty highlands of Scotland, his rough coat beaded with drops of water, ready to give chase to stag or hare.

He is alert, vigilant, brave, learns quickly and never forgets his lessons. He doesn't care much about "treats" but appreciates words of approval and the occasional scratch behind his ears. He is reserved, independent and strong willed but will be very loyal and obedient to the human who expects the best from him.
If I had to pick, from among our dogs at Desert Haven, the one that would be a reliable, intelligent and hardy companion in the woods and on the trail, Scotty would be my choice.

These are the words of Al Wilkinson, Desert Haven's Dog Trainer.Scotty was born in November 2005 to a mother that was brought to the refuge starving and pregnant. He's energetic and loves to play with his siblings and other dogs. He's got the even temperment of his blue heeler mother and loves to be petted, cuddled and walked. Scotty will make an excellent family dog.

Scotty as a puppy

If you might have room in your home and heart for this lovable guy, please give Frederica (Freddie) Loveless a call at 575-894-2778. She will happy to share more information with you and make an appointment for you to meet Scotty and any of our other available dogs or cats in need of a forever family.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Letter to the Editor

Note: This letter was written by a Desert Haven volunteer and sent to the editor of the local paper, along with a copy to us. Thank you for writing, Steven!

Camille Pronovost
DH Webmaster

October 29, 2007

Dear Editor,

I have worked at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, off and on, from about the beginning. It’s amazing how Eliana Aubin’s vision for the place has slowly come into being. She has worked harder than anyone there. Eliana is the Executive Director at DHAR.

The many hard-working volunteers have put their heart and soul into a very worthy project. Without them the animals would have no place to be safe and cared for, and it’s not all. Being a snowbird and traveling like I do, it is always interesting to see the changes and additions that have been done at Desert Haven each time I decide to spend a few months in T or C. The Cool Cat Neighborhood is a great place to sit and find a friend who will jump into your lap and enjoy being petted.

There’s a lot more to do at Desert Haven and volunteers are always needed. Supplies, food, and building materials are in need at Desert Haven to help expand and provide more room for more animals.

Rainbow Bridge Pet Cemetery is a place where your pet can be buried, and you can visit them when you feel the need. This is your Pet Haven. Your community support is needed to make Desert Haven grow and expand to provide for all animals in need. I hope people will go out and take a tour and see for themselves what a nice place Desert Haven is and perhaps get involved and help with the animals.

Your support is also needed at the Paws & Claws Thrift Shop. If you buy there, you not only get a bargain, but your money goes to a very worthy cause. You also may want to consider volunteering some time at Paws & Claws to help hang clothes or sell something. Donations are always needed and welcome.

I have always enjoyed my time in T or C when working with Desert Haven and the thrift shop. Working with Eliana has taught me that running a thrift store is a lot of hard work. She can always use help, and the animals will benefit from your participation in the Sierra County Humane Society.

Stephen Hawkins
PO Box 2953
Everett, WA 98213-0953

Week of 11/1/07 Humane Happenings

Fall has arrived at full speed in The Rio Grande corridor, and the tree lines along the water’s edge, seen in all their splendor from Desert Haven Animal Refuge, have already turned to a golden yellow- the unmistakable hue of the Desert Southwest in the Fall. The Caballo Mountains in the background complete the signature painting of Mother Nature. The New Mexico scenery, appreciated from the brand new Old West Pavilion, is absolutely gorgeous at this time of the year. The Pavilions’ builders - Terry Mayfield and Ron Djurovich (spelled correctly this time, Ron) – can be very proud of their accomplishment - the Old West Pavilion, surrounded by greasewoods and mesquite bushes. Looks great on the Old West Trail.

Eliana & Suede - A Hug in the Flowers

Adoption clinics are being held almost weekly now, thanks to the efforts of Bev and Ben DiGarmo who insure that some of the little dogs of DHAR receive the exposure that they need and fully deserve. Pat Armijo of The Movie Gallery and Bryan of Red Bone have both been very generous in allowing our Adoption Team to bring some of the sanctuary’s littlest dogs inside their place of business, to give them an extra chance at adoption. Suede, the fearless rat terrier pup who, with little Suzy-Q, was chosen for the Adoption Clinic last week, has a personality of his own and a courage to boot. That little guy is afraid of nothing, and not even the biggest and meanest-looking dogs at DHAR can scare him off! What a cutie!

This week’s kudos go to Jeanette Galliard for the twelve bales of alfalfa and straw that she brought to DHAR this week, all the way from Albuquerque where she lives and works, on her way to her R&R destination: Caballo Lake RV Park. This energetic nurse by trade, and big-hearted animal loving social butterfly by choice, is a real energizer at the sanctuary, and everyone looks forwards to her visits every month. The DHAR main dining area was fully decorated in the spirit of Halloween this past Tuesday – courtesy of Jeanette, of course! The volunteers there that day seemed to thoroughly enjoy the lunch and the time shared together, after a busy morning spent taking care of the non-human residents and working on some of Desert Haven’s most pressing maintenance projects.

We continue to need canned pet food, to supplement the dry food that we feed our dogs and cats every day. For information on how to adopt a companion animal from Desert Haven, contact us at 575-894-2778. You can also check-us out at