Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Week of 12/16/07 Humane Happenings

"Lucky the Reindeer" - Desert Haven's first canine resident

Christmas is just around the corner and the volunteer team at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s No-Kill Domestic Animal Sanctuary, is asking all animal loving folks to consider including Desert Haven’s furry and feathered residents on their Christmas list. In Dog Town, we continue to need sturdy leashes, dog treats, canned and dry food, along with big dog food bowls.

In winter and especially during cold weather, the dogs of Desert Haven are fed a mixture of moist and dry food twice a day, after their exercise run on The Old West Trail. One twenty-pound bag of dog food, for example, lasts about one day at Dog Town. While we purchase brands such as Beneful and Pedigree on a regular basis for our canine population, we mix everything together, including pet food of any type that is donated by our animal loving friends.

The residents of The Cool Cat Neighborhood love canned tuna of course, but they also appreciate any type of canned and dry cat food, and treats as well. Everyone visiting “The Neighborhood” always comments on the attractiveness and cleanliness of the entire Feline Habitat. As a couple visiting DHAR from out-of-state called it, it is most certainly “the feline equivalent of a five-star gated community” - quite an impressive statement from cat lovers who make it a point to visit feline sanctuaries as they travel throughout the country.

John & Linda Jones of San Lorenzo, New Mexico, visited Desert Haven this past Tuesday and they were both very impressed with the entire facility including the loving care that all the members of the DHAR team are giving the furry and feathered residents. John has already committed to help care for the animals and with on-going projects every Tuesday. Way to go, John!

This week, we especially wish to acknowledge Richard & Annie Millard of Caballo, for their generous Christmas contribution and their very complimentary note - also Rochelle Danhi of Florida, who visited DHAR recently with her friends Jim and Judith. Rochelle included with her generous contribution a card to let us know that the three of them were very impressed with the facility and how well we take care of all the non-human residents.

We appreciate the thoughtfulness of the recent anonymous contributor of the two large cans of wonderful dog treats dropped-off at Paws & Claws for the residents of Dog Town.

It’s Christmas time, and the volunteer team at Desert Haven hopes that the furry and feathered creatures in their care will also be remembered by folks who genuinely love animals. For more information, contact us at 894-2778. You can also check us out at

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Week of 12/9/07 Humane Happenings

Eliana with Angel, a Christmas puppy

Happy Belated Birthday, Linda Estavillo. At 39 years and holding, this birthday should be a memorable one for a very special lady. Linda is the Facilities Manager at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, The Sierra County Humane Society owned-and-operated no-kill domestic animal sanctuary. Linda, who chose Desert Haven as part of her need for a change of direction in her career goals and a strong need for a purpose-driven life at this time in her life, came to Desert Haven over a year ago from her home in Oregon after answering a “Volunteer Help Wanted” ad in one of the national RV magazines. Linda resides at Desert Haven, with husband David, who works in law enforcement, and son James, a student at Hot Springs High School. Linda is a huge part of the on-going success of Desert Haven. Thanks for being part of our volunteer Team, Linda.

Ben and Beverly De Garmo, a couple originally from Texas who work camped at Desert Haven for the past several months, will soon be leaving the area to go on to their next work camping adventure in another part of the US. They have been instrumental in keeping the pet adoption clinics open in several of the local stores, and we very appreciate all their efforts as well as their genuine love and concern for the non-human residents of DHAR. We wish them well, and trust that they will indeed come back to DHAR, as they promised, when the opportunity presents itself to them again.

Sport, a young shepherd with a great disposition, together with Parker, a cheerful border collie, also Angel, an adorable six-week old puppy, also Princess, a cute-as-a-button Chihuahua terrier, are now the newest additions to Dog Town. Together with the rest of the Dog Town gang, these puppies and young canines of various sizes and temperaments are making Desert Haven a great place to shop for a companion animal, especially at this time of the year.

Wish List: Steel garbage cans with lids, used refrigerator in good working condition, pet food, canned & dry. Dog and cat treats.

Volunteers are needed to walk the resident dogs, help clean their environment and prepare their food. Kitty Cuddlers are also needed in The Cool Cat Neighborhood. If you are partial to birds, guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens or peacocks, consider donating some of your time at Birdland. Marilyn Cassidy, a local volunteer, is spending the holidays out of the area and her dependable help is very much missed.

At this time of the year, remember the animals and help the volunteers at DHAR and the Sierra county Humane Society care for the less fortunate animals. For more information, contact us at 575-894-2778. You can also check us out at

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Letter from Pat & Terry Mayfield

Note: Pat & Terry Mayfield spent three weeks work camping at Desert Haven. These wonderful folks were so very helpful while they were here. Terry, together with Ron Djurovich, designed and built the Old West Pavilion. It provides a place for dog walkers to rest in the shade while the dogs run and play in the Old West fenced-in section of DHAR.

Terry, Vickie, and Pat in the Old West Pavilion

November 14, 2007

Dear Eliana,

Terry and I want to tell you how much we enjoyed our time with you and the staff of Desert Haven Animal Refuge. You are a wonderful, and dedicated group and really care about each of your furred and feathered friends. You are doing a great service for your community and the animals there that need a good home. Your clean, homey, comfortable and rustic facility offers a great home to pets waiting for adoption. It was a pleasure to see several volunteers from the area interested in the care of the dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, guinea pigs, doves, and peacocks. We also were able to witness two or three adoptions in our short three-week stay.

We also enjoyed working with the other Work Campers that were at Desert Haven the same time we were. We worked hard but we had a lot of fun too. Terry was so happy to have been able to build the covered bench for you in the Wild West area were you take the dogs for a good run twice a day. I was amazed at your Paws and Claws Thrift Store and really enjoyed my hours there with you. What must be said though is – You need a much bigger building!

Thank you for the opportunity to work with you and get to know you, Linda, Freddie, and Deb, your local volunteers and Work Campers. We hope to be able to come again next year.

Pat & Terry Mayfield
Newberg, Oregon

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Week of 12/2/07 Humane Happenings

There was a lot of activity at Desert Haven this past Tuesday, as several local and out of town visitors toured Desert Haven Animal Refuge (Sierra County’s Domestic Animal Sanctuary) either with “Tour Guide Extraordinaire” Freddie Loveless, or Linda Estavillo, Facilities Manager at DHAR.

A huge thank-you is in order to James Schulze and Judith Ross-Morris of Albuquerque, who, after visiting the sanctuary recently, were so impressed with the facility and the loving care given to all its non-human residents, that they decided to make a substantial contribution in lieu of exchanging Christmas gift this year. What a wonderful gesture on the part of two very thoughtful individuals!

Beverly and Bob Jensen of Colorado, who are spending the winter in a local RV park, are currently sponsoring Parker, the newest resident of Dogtown . Parker, a young male Border Collie mix with a great disposition, was found wandering around the RV Park where they are staying. The couple immediately volunteered to cover the costs of Parker’s sterilization, including all his shots. They are also donating their time each day to help care for him – what a caring couple! Anyone interested in sponsoring a dog or a cat from Desert Haven? All it takes is a little time on your hands and a big dose of love! The rewards are priceless.

We appreciate the thoughtfulness of Beverly and Ben De Garmo of Texas, for their generous donation of pet food in Memory of their beloved kitty Anna Belle, now buried at Rainbow Bridge Pet Cemetery. Paws-Up to two very generous couples: Annie & Richard Millard and Mary Jane & Bill Clellan whose monthly contributions help cover the costs of pet food for the residents of DHAR. A pat on the back is in order for Margaret Simone and Kathy Onereck of Markayes Quality Pet Supplies, who recently donated dog food and pet gifts. These animal loving folks also have one of our Doggie Banks in their place of business. The proceeds from the Doggie Banks help fund our comprehensive Spay-Neuter program. Applications for the Spay-Neuter program can be picked up at the TorC Police Station, Hot Springs Animal Clinic, El Rancho Poodles and Paws & Claws thrift shop.

This week’s wish list: Large steel garbage cans with lids – a good used refrigerator - volunteers at Desert Haven and Paws & Claws thrift shop – canned and dry pet food.

For more information, contact us at 575-894-2778. You can also check us out at

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Week of 11/25/07 Humane Happenings

How quickly the season seems to be going at this time of the year!

Already Thanksgiving is behind us, and now Christmas is on the way. Thanksgiving was celebrated last Tuesday at Desert Haven, the domestic animal sanctuary owned and operated by The Sierra County Humane Society. Jeanette Galliard, on her R&R (Rest and Recuperation) at Caballo RV Park from her demanding career in Albuquerque, handled the traditional Turkey main dish and trimmings, while everyone included a special dish, as is customary. This made for a very congenial Thanksgiving celebration for the volunteer team at DHAR.

On Thursday, the animals and birds were not forgotten, and special treats were handed out to all. In the evening, the volunteers gathered again at the sanctuary for the Thanksgiving meal. Beverly and Ben DiGarmo, work campers from Texas, took charge of the scrumptious Ham main dish. Once again, the dining room was resounding with laughter and interesting conversations throughout the entire meal. A harmonica was brought out and Leonardo Rivera added to the feelings of friendship by playing some well known tunes way into the evening. When some of our work campers pull out within the next few weeks, on their way to new and exciting adventure across the United States, it will be with sadness that the rest of the crew will see them leave.

George and DiAnna Schnetzer came to visit Desert Haven last Tuesday, and it was a genuine pleasure to see them both. As always, these generous folks from Los Lunas did not come empty handed - their car was loaded with much needed pet food. They did not forget the DHAR volunteer crew, as they also brought goodies for every sweet tooth at the sanctuary – the human type, that is.

Paws & Claws continues to be very busy and at this time of the year, local volunteers are very much needed there as well, especially to make-up for those who will soon be leaving the sanctuary to spend their Christmas vacation with their out-of-state family.

For information on how to support our non-profit, animal welfare organization in some way, either through financial contributions or to volunteer some of your time each week, either at Paws & Claws thrift shop in T or C, or at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, contact us at 894-2778 or 894-1694. You can also check-us out at