Sunday, December 28, 2008

Week of 12/21/08 Humane Happenings

Burro, in need of a forever home

The Sierra County Humane Society’s Adopt-a-Pet Referral program is successful, and we hope that folks interested in adopting a dog or cat through this unique program will consider contacting us, at 895-5551. Stan Brodsky, the program coordinator, is doing wonders with it. To find out what type of dog or cat is available through the Adopt-a-Pet Referral program, which serves companion animals from Sierra County, please check us out at, maintained and updated by Camille Pronovost of Florida, and click on the Petfinder link, which Stan updates regularly.

Stan drives all the way from beyond Hillsboro several times a week, to help handle the morning care at dog town. Stan is partial to dogs and, while at DHAR, he spends as much time as needed to insure that each and every dog receives plenty of cuddles and special attention.

Entrance to Old West Trail

We need dog walkers at DHAR. At this time of the year, morning animal care and dog walking starts at 8 AM, and again at 3:45 PM. The shifts last a couple of hours or less, depending on the number of helpers and also the number of dogs residing at Dog Town at any given time. Locals animal loving folks interested in giving us a hand with animal care have the opportunity to select the day and the type of activity. While some enjoy helping feed and walk on a leash the small dogs around the Desert Haven property, others prefer the company of the larger breeds which exercise inside the one acre, all-enclosed, Old West Trail. While there, dogs have the chance to run and play in groups of two or three according to their temperaments. During the twice- a-day, half-an-hour exercise time for each group of dogs, the dog walker on duty connects with each and every animal and also gets personal walking exercise if interested.

We need helpers at Paws & Claws thrift shop. It‘s a large shop with many varied display areas. Donations arrive on a continuous basis, which also requires a steady group of volunteers to sort, tag and price all incoming items before they are put on display. The variety of the donated items as well as the fun-to-work-with volunteer crew, together with the friendly customers, help make the 2 to 4 hour shifts at Paws & Claws thrift shop interesting. Aside from Eliana Aubin (who has managed P&C thrift shop for almost 12 years now), Diana Rivera is the volunteer who has worked there for the longest time. Diana’s 6 years of hard work at Paws & Claws, her dedication to the cause and her personal loyalty have helped make our on-going efforts possible. Her long-time involvement has also allowed everyone with the pleasure of working alongside this special lady, to get to know her personally and truly appreciate her. Diana has made many friends among the volunteers and the customers.

Our wish list for this week: Dry and moist cat food.

Interested in finding out about us, contact us at 575-894-2778, visit Desert Haven on Tuesday or by appointment. You can also check us out at

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Week of 12/14/08 Humane Happenings

Going home with a new dad!

Taters, a young Dachshund living at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, was adopted this past week, and so was Emma, the orphan girl-dog from Hillsboro. Emma started her new lease on life with a warm and loving local family, to become a fur-buddy to another little dog, also adopted from DHAR some months ago. Taters melted the heart of a school teacher from Santa Fe who discovered him on Petfinder. The trip to reach his new “mom”, who was to pick- him up in Albuquerque, was made very comfortable for the little guy by Ron Gjurovich and Deb Peters, two local sanctuary volunteers.
With Deb at the wheel of their vehicle, what better seat for Tater’s than Ron’s lap?

Such trips to facilitate adoptions from DHAR are becoming more and more common. They are made possible by good hearted folks like Ron and Deb, but also by Stan Brodsky of Hillsboro, who handles the Petfinder web site, also by Jeanette Galliard who lives in Albuquerque and whenever possible, becomes involved in transporting the “lucky dogs” (no pun intended) and enabling the reunions by letting the volunteers use her home as a meeting point. Everyone involved with Desert Haven in any possible way, from handling the paperwork to caring for the animals each day, deserves to be congratulated for the successful adoptions and for the happiness that companion animals bring into someone’s life. It takes a special kind of folks to go out of their way to save helpless creatures that others have discarded along the way.
Emma and Taters were our success stories this past week. Seeing the little ones leave Desert Haven and embark on their brand new life with a loving family, the folks who helped make it all possible were reminded once again, in their heart, why they had chosen to help take care of domestic animals in a small no-kill animal sanctuary deep in the heart of Desert country.

Our wish list for this week: Dry and moist cat food - Dog walkers and Kitty Cuddlers at Desert Haven - Helpers at Paws & Claws thrift shop - Sturdy clothes racks - Nice folks to bring the main dish for the Tuesday pot-luck lunches.
Interested in finding out about us? Contact us at 575-894-2778; visit Desert Haven on Tuesday or by calling 894-2778 for an appointment. You can also check us out at

Angel, a Christmas puppy

As Christmas approaches, our wish to you, our animal loving readers, is for your Christmas to be rich in love from family and friends, which of course includes your companion animals, here and from all over.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Hollyhocks in bloom

Christmas is indeed in the air, and here among the Sierra County Humane Society volunteers, several folks have made it their goal this holiday season, to insure that the Spirit of the Holidays can be felt by the customers who patronize Paws & Claws thrift shop at this time of the year. The store front windows at Paws & Claws are indeed very nicely decorated this season.

There have been many folks involved - from those who choose our organization, through Paws & Claws, to donate their new and old Christmas decorations, odds and ends and, by the way, also some very nice Christmas trees, to the several ladies who sort, tag price and finally decorate the windows along the way as the Christmas season advances. Because of the generosity of our contributors of Holiday goods throughout the entire year, our volunteer-run thrift shop is looking like an ideal place to enjoy browsing through some of the most interesting and unusual as well as some truly old and unique holiday decorations from all over.

Erin and Eliana with dogs who all have since been adopted

Even though this is the Season of gift-giving, pets are not included as possible holiday gifts at P&C. Pets as gifts have always been a topic of controversy. There is concern that the recipient may not be prepared for all the responsibilities that come with adding a pet to their family and that the Christmas season might be too hectic a time to introduce a new pet into the household. Consequently, our organization does not hold adoption stations during the holidays, so as not to give any opportunity for folks to adopt a pet from DHAR on an impulse - a spur of the moment decision that may later prove to be very detrimental - even sometimes a death sentence - to the pet.

Christmas with all its tinsels and decorations is so beautiful, yet can be deadly to your household pets. Danger lurks among many of the season's shiny ornaments and festive decorations. To keep your holidays free from emergency visits to the vet, the AKC offers the following tips to dog-proof your home from potential hazards.
The complete article can be viewed at:,0,222330.story

This week‘s wish list: cat food, moist and dry. Dog walkers and kitty cuddlers at Desert Haven Animal Refuge. Clothe racks for Paws & Claws. Helpers at Paws & Claws.

Interested in learning more about us? Visit us at Desert Haven Animal Refuge on Tuesdays, contact us at 575-894-2778 or visit our web site and blog at:

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Humane Happenings

by Dolly Loftus

Al Wilkinson with Parker in training

Life at Desert Haven Animal Refuge continues to be a panoramic vista for the workcampers and animals, and a great place to share a Thanksgiving feast. Last week, Petei and Gray left to visit their family in California for the holidays. They plan on returning in late spring. That’s great news for us; they were hard workers. Tom and Juicy arrived from Ohio on Sunday, and John and Rockette are expected today. How fortunate we are to have people who want to come and share their talents with us and the animals!

Our dog trainer, Al Wilkinson, is back with us. For several months, he devoted most of his extra time to The Bountiful Alliance. Now he is sharing his dog training expertise with our staff of work campers and local volunteers. Thank you so much, Al.

We have recently taken in two new dogs. Shadow is a male spaniel/heeler mix, approximately one year old who has been relinquished by his owner for financial reasons. His bright blue eyes beg for a new home. Emma is an older dog, ten to twelve years old, who was attacked by another dog in Hillsboro and will be recuperating at Desert Haven for the next six months.

With Christmas approaching, an easy way to donate to your favorite cause (which we hope is SCHS) is to shop on line through Good Shop. Good Shop is sponsored by Depending on the store, donations range from a half percent to thirty per cent of your purchases. As an example, PetSmart will donate 4%-7.5% of your on line purchase to your designated charity when you enter their web site via Click on for details. Hundreds of stores are participating and it’s an easy way for you to donate to a good cause for no extra money.

Bootz and children's clothing at Paws & Claws thrift Shop

The Paws & Claws Thrift Store continues to have great bargains for the holiday season, both in gift ideas and decorations. We have items for your everyday use, and the Book Nook is always a good place to find an unexpected surprise.

We still need for volunteers for the office, thrift store, and refuge. If you want more information, call Dolly at 740-0715.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Humane Happenings

by Dolly Loftus

Freddie at a board meeting

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, the Sierra County Humane Society, critters and volunteers at Desert Haven, and volunteers who man the Paws and Claws Thrift Store would like to thank the community for their support of time and donations. It is extremely heart-warming when we realize how much people care about animals and their survival.

Life at Desert Haven continues to be fun and hectic. Freddie Lovelace is back after visiting her 92 year old mother in Indiana. Dick and Jane, a couple of short-term work campers, left last Friday to visit their family in Colorado. They helped a lot with new ideas for our cat area and deep cleaning. The new crew, who have become veterans in a short time, is anticipating the arrival of two more couples the first part of next week. We have some really cute small dogs that are ready for adopting. Come out on any Tuesday between 9 AM and 4 PM for a tour. We have several pieces of statuary that decorate the grounds, but we could use more. If you have some that you are tired of looking at in your yard, please bring it to Desert Haven. We still need assistance in the office in order to give our present personnel a break from time to time. If you like to file, do computer work and play with numbers, call Dolly at 740-0715.

At Paws and Claws, the selection of Christmas merchandise is outstanding. The Christmas tree selection, tree ornaments and other decorations have taken over the store. There is such a variety of items that people run out of time to shop assuring us that they will come back again. Stop by, browse around, and see what you can’t live without.

Our wish list this week is for dry and canned cat food. The staff and volunteers wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Week of 11/16/08 Humane Happenings

Ron and Cooper

Every year since Paws & Claws Thrift Shop opened for business in 1997, The Sierra County Humane Society has collected toys and stuffed animals for the Toys-4-Tots program. Our organization collects an average of 125 new toys each year. We would like to continue the tradition, with the help of our customers. By Thanksgiving, a bin will be available inside the store for the occasion.

We had a good group gathered at lunchtime this past Tuesday - 21 folks, including several local and out-of-town guests. We shared a great Italian meal, courtesy of our Chef-of-the-day Margaret Cacoperdo, and others helped to ensure that there was plenty of good food available.

We are still looking for someone to help with office work, filing, and answering phone calls. Ginny, our volunteer from Hawaii, is leaving the area mid December. We met Ginny Nylen two Springs ago, when she was work camping in T or C. Ginny had read about us in the local papers and she visited DHAR one Tuesday morning. The office skills she shared with us during the following three months were a tremendous boost to our office crew. This Summer, Ginny came back to T or C, and once again, she has been helping in the DHAR office on Tuesday and also at P&C thrift shop whenever her schedule permits. Ginny is also a superb cook.

Accolades of the week: To the nice folks who drop-off used furniture pieces at Paws & Claws, also gently used household items, interesting knick-knack of all types, and brand new items, some still in their original gift box: A very special thank-you to Patricia Lehman and her son Samuel for their kindness towards another human being and for donating money for pet food.

Wish List: mannequin for the P&C store window - clothes racks and shelves or someone willing to build one or two for us. Helpers at Paws & Claws.
Someone with heavy equipment to help us level some of the RV sites damaged by the recent rains.

For more information, contact Dolly at 575-740-0715. Consider visiting DHAR during open hours, from 9 AM through 4 PM. You can also check us out at

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Week of 11/9/08 Humane Happenings


Desert Haven Animal Refuge, the Sierra County Humane Society’s owned and operated no-kill domestic animal sanctuary, was full of activity last week. Casey, a friendly young heeler, was taken in at the sanctuary and she is now getting acquainted with the routine at Dog Town. She has already made several friends among the canine population, including young Ralph, who loved to have a brand new playmate.

At lunch time, the hungry crew gathered slowly around the oversize table and as every seat was getting occupied, the conversations were lively and everyone seemed to have a good time discussing the morning‘s events and the day’s projects. The “Chef of the Day“ - Ginny Nylen - together with her helpers had just put the finishing touches on her superb “Chili Relleno” that was going to be served as the main dish of a typical Mexican meal - good food to be shared by congenial folks, some of them brand new to DHAR. Reba Wagner, husband Gene and son Steve had just arrived from Arkansas in the early part of the week. Then it was Jeff Nowland of New Jersey. Finally, Gray and Pettie Mc Henry of California, who stopped at DHAR for a couple weeks on their way to new and exciting RV’ing adventures - It was great to see everyone get acquainted and the rest of the crew made every effort to help them feel like an integral part of the DHAR team.

Freddie Loveless

Freddie Loveless, DHAR Operations Coordinator & Camp Host, is on her way back to Indiana, where she will be spending some special time with her family. She has not seen her folks in over five years, since she made DHAR her very first RV‘ing experience. We wish her a great time and hope she will be back with us before long. Freddie is very special to us. When she arrived at DHAR at this time of the year several years ago, she was planning to stay only a very short while, then the Winter came and went, and Freddie had already made many friends, not only at the sanctuary, but also in town. The years have passed and Freddie is still with us and we appreciate her very much.

With Freddie away for several weeks, DHAR is looking for someone to help out with paperwork, filing, etc, for a couple of hours each Tuesday. All are welcome to stay for lunch, which is served every Tuesday at 1 PM.

For more information, contact Dolly at 575-740-0715. This next Tuesday, consider visiting DHAR during open hours, from 9 AM through 4 PM. You can also check us out at

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Humane Happenings

Caballo Mountains behind Old West Pacita

by Dolly Loftus

The Caballo Mountains continue to be a perpetual Kodak moment as the season and our weather gradually change. We are very excited about three new sets of work campers that will be arriving within the week. Our new local volunteers, Art and Pat, have really stepped up to help when most needed. With new people on board, there work should be a little easier. We could not operate without volunteers, and at times there is a critical need for them. Right now, we could use an administrative assistant to handle basic computer work, file and do light correspondence. Another position, a little more challenging is a financial assistant. This volunteer should be familiar with Excel and like numbers. If you feel that you have expertise in sorting and pricing, Paws & Claws could be your place to volunteer. We need help with clothing, appliances, furniture, electronics, collectibles, books, records, and jewelry.

The Quilt Raffle drawing was held on Halloween and the winner was Pat Faulkner. The beautiful blue jeans quilt was handmade and generously donated to Sierra County Humane Society by Linda Christopherson. Mary Jane and Bill Clelland recently donated a computer and regularly give us cash donations each month for animal food. Roger and Diana Doss of Champagne Hills gave a cash donation for pet food and also a sewing machine in excellent condition. Woof! Woof! Meow!

Cool Cat Neighborhood

Our wish list for this week: kitty cuddlers for an average of 30 cats residing at the Cool Cat Neighborhood, a spacious feline gated community; someone with heavy equipment to help us level some of the RV sites damaged by the recent rains; someone with a truck to help us transport donated furniture and large items; dry and canned cat food; helpers at Paws & Claws. Visit our website: for information on contacting us.

Week of 10/26/08 Humane Happenings

Bullock's Shur-Save Supermarket
630 Broadway
Truth or Consequences, NM 87901
575 894-6622 /fax 575 894-6620

The Cash-for-clubs program is on again, thanks to the generosity of our local community-minded grocery store – Bullocks in T or C. Bullocks receipts, when redeemed by The Sierra County Humane Society, benefit both SCHS Spay-& Neuter and Spay-a-Stray programs. When you shop at Bullocks, consider saving your receipts for us. Our collection stations are: the T or C Public Library, Williamsburg Post Office or also Paws & Claws thrift shop, located across from Family Dollar. Since the program started some years ago, Josephine Varnum has picked them up regularly from those locations and tallied them for our organization.

Saving Bullocks receipts for our animal welfare organization is a great way for caring individuals to help the local domestic animal population. The money donated by Bullocks through those receipts – over $3500 this past year alone – is used exclusively to help Sierra County folks who want to have their pet sterilized. Last year, our organization spent over $8,000 on the Spay-Neuter program alone.
To help fund the program, we also collect aluminum cans, which are routinely transported by Deb Peters to the local recycling center. Our drop-off location is the Can’s Corral, adjacent to where the “old” thrift shop used to be - 109 E-First St in T or C. You can also drop them off directly at the “new” thrift shop when it is open for business, from Wed through Sat each week. A word from Deb: If you crush your donated cans you will receive brownie points! Crushed cans take much less space in her little truck and she can transport so many more that way at one time!
Accolade of the week: Alan and Teira Buckeridge of T or C, for their generous “Thanksgiving” donation of canned dog food.

Kind reminder: Unless your donated printers and computers come to us with their respective software and cables, they are useless to us. Also, if not brought directly to us inside the shop, they may be destroyed by rain or be stolen.
Old units or those without software, etc, can be dropped off at Radio Shack for recycling.
This week’s wish list: A mannequin & clothes racks for Paws & Claws thrift shop - Large grocery bags for our bag sales - Dog walkers and kitty cuddlers at Desert Haven - Cleaning supply, dust mops, sponges, brushes, etc. Helpers at Paws & Claws -
Interested in helping in some way or perhaps you would like to visit some of the non-human residents of DHAR outside of business hours? Contact us at 894-2778. You can also check us out at

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Week of 10/19/08 Humane Happenings

Deb and Dolly with Mexican sunflowers in bloom at Desert Haven

At this time of the year, Desert Haven Animal Refuge is experiencing a shortage of active volunteers to last until the winter crew of RV’ing helpers arrives at the sanctuary from throughout the US. Recently, several work campers moved out of DHAR and into town at about the same time, and the DHAR crew wishes them well as they start a new life in their respective new homes. When DHAR struggles through a lack of adequate volunteer help, so does Paws & Claws thrift shop, especially now that the size of the new shop is more than three times that of the old shop on First Street, and also since the in-kind donations have grown as well.

This week’s kudos go to Dolly Loftus of Elephant Butte. Dolly is the Sierra County Humane Society Executive Secretary and her office is at Desert Haven. As the newest member of the Board of Directors, she is now increasingly involved in the many facets of management of our non-profit organization. Among other responsibilities, Dolly now shares - together with Eliana Aubin and Freddie Loveless - the responsibility of making the work camper program a success at DHAR. She also regularly volunteers at Paws & Claws thrift shop. Since she has taken responsibility for “The Book Nook” at the shop, her efforts have made that section very popular among our community’s avid readers. Thanks to Dolly’s generosity this past Tuesday, the DHAR office’s second computer, generously donated by George and DiAnna Schenetzer some months ago, is now on-line and running.

Eliana, Bootz & Erin in the "Book Nook"

Dolly, a former English teacher and also a working partner in her late husband’s business, is a perfect example that one can be retired and still be very productive. Many worthwhile local organizations need volunteer help – one only needs to look around and find one’s niche. Dolly is invaluable to our organization and we consider ourselves fortunate to have such a person of substance on our volunteer team.

Dolly, with John & Deb, tries out the new bench at Desert Haven

A pat on the back goes to Ken, a technician at Radio Shack, for helping solve our software problem last Tuesday. Mary Roden and Ann Pruit, "thank-you" for your generous donation and yes, it will go towards pet food as promised.

Wish list: Canned dog and cat food. We add moist food to our dogs and cats diet during the winter months. Interested in helping in some way? Wishing to visit an animal at DHAR outside of open hours? Contact us at 505-594-2778 or check us out at

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Week of 10/12/08 Humane Happenings


Welcome to Desert Haven, Dick and Jeanette Thomas – “Dick & Jane” for short. This friendly RVing couple is planning to stay at the domestic animal sanctuary throughout the next few weeks and the crew had a chance to meet them this past Tuesday. They, in turn, are slowly getting acquainted with the human and non-human residents. We hope that their stay in our area will be as interesting and fulfilling as they wish it to be.


The newest residents of Dog Town at DHAR include Benji, a very cute young Wheaton Hair terrier and his buddy Tater, a one year old brindle Dachshund Chihuahua mix who longs to be someone’s lap dog. Both of them have a sweet disposition and enjoy the company of people and of other dogs.


Tater also loves to ride in cars. There is also young Ralph, a friendly Spaniel mix, and Chocolat, a young Chihuahua who loves toys and who is intensively training to become the “ultimate” in home protection. To visit these dogs and other DHAR companion animals, contact us at 894-2778 for an appointment or visit Desert Haven on a Tuesday, when the refuge is open for visitors.


Judy Ray, who has been Desert Haven’s Administrative Assistant Extraordinaire for some months now, is moving on to experience new RVing adventures. Anyone with office skills, a couple of hours to give on Tuesdays and the willingness to help a good cause is invited to help us fill the need. We sure could use their help on Tuesday mornings.

This week’s wish list: Canned pet food, deck brush, cleaning supplies - Dog Walkers and Kitty Cuddlers - Also several volunteers to help set up the Bag Sale Boutique that is now open at Paws & Claws thrift shop every Third Friday of the month? We always need large grocery bags for that specific sale.
Interested in helping in some way or perhaps in adopting a companion animal? Contact us at 894-2778. You can also check us out at

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Week of 10/8/08 Humane Happenings

Desert Haven Animal Refuge, owned and operated by the Sierra County Humane Society, will celebrate the birthday of St Francis, patron saint of the animals, on Saturday October 11. “The Blessing of the Animals” will be held at Rainbow Bridge Pet Cemetery from noon to one PM, with Father Peter Cacoperdo of St Paul Episcopal Church officiating. All companion animals attending with their owner will be blessed individually.

Desert Haven was very quiet last Tuesday morning, with a smaller crew than usual. The chicken and rice prepared by Margaret Cacoperdo of Elephant Butte was enjoyed by everyone present. Margaret, who came with Father Peter’s mother, Lucy, is a long-time friend of DHAR and it’s always a pleasure to see them.

The several large beautiful furniture pieces recently donated by Lynn Neglia brought a lot of attention at Paws & Claws until they were sold that same week. We also appreciate the generous nice couple who dropped off a gorgeous entertainment center. Again, we wish to acknowledge all the nice folks who donate so many new and like-new items, some of them still in their original gift-box.

A big “Thank-you” goes to Jeanette Galliard who recently drove to DHAR an entire truck load of hay all the way from Albuquerque where she lives and works. The hay is used in Dog Town to line the dog houses as well as in Birdland & Animal House, where it insulates insulate the guinea pig and rabbits habitats and the nests for our doves, chickens and peacocks.

Keep the bags of aluminum cans coming. An extra pat on the back is in order to those nice folks who crush them before they drop them off. Deb Peters of Palomas is truly special for transporting them regularly to the local recycling center. The proceeds from the cans help our Spay-Neuter program.

The Cash-for-clubs program has started again, thanks to the generosity of Bullocks Grocery. Bullocks receipts, when redeemed by our organization, benefit our SCHS Spay-& Neuter program. They can be dropped off at Paws & Claws thrift shop, also at the T or C public library and Williamsburg Post office. If you prefer, you can send them to us at the SCHS, Post Office Box 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942

This week’s wish list: pet food, dry and canned - A mannequin for Paws & Claws thrift shop - Large grocery bags to be used for the upcoming bag sale - Dog walkers and kitty cuddlers at Desert Haven - Helpers at Paws & Claws - Cleaning supply, dust mops, sponges, brushes, etc.

Interested in helping in some way or perhaps you would like to visit some of the non-human residents of DHAR outside of open hours? Contact us at 894-2778. You can also check us out at

Friday, October 3, 2008

Week of 10/1/08 Humane Happenings

"Hold me tight, Bootz!"

This week, the Sierra County Humane Society kudos are due to Ellen Farrester - Bootz – of Williamsburg. This special lady started volunteering on a regular basis with the Desert Haven crew several years ago, when the shortage of available helpers was great one summer. Along the way and until she adopted a dog of her own, Bootz became a foster mom for several DHAR dogs and she helped teach them the ways all good dogs should know. Last year, she was elected vice president of the Sierra County Humane Society. When the shop recently moved to its present location across the alley from Family Dollar, Bootz saw the need for extra helpers there and she started volunteering there a couple of days a week. Bootz, together with her husband Jack, also makes many of the interesting old-fashioned signs for DHAR. Thanks, Bootz, for all that you do. It is recognized and appreciated.

Old West Placita

Photo buffs, do we have the place for you! Desert Haven, with its Old West flair, is a haven for photo enthusiasts. Especially at this time of the year, when the wild flowers are in full bloom and all the vegetation is at its best, Desert Haven, with its rustic atmosphere and its animals living happily in comfortable habitats, provides many photo opportunities not found anywhere else. The Old West Placita – the center of DHAR - is building character each year. Built with barn wood collected from all over, it has been decorated over time with interesting items donated by animal loving friends from all over.

Old West Entrance to Rainbow Bridge

From time to time, someone adds a special touch to the Old West scene. A large cast iron pot and an assortment of some old cooking equipment add that special Frontier Town touch to the front entrance of The Lonesome Dove Hotel -the large aviary housing peacocks, white and domesticated ring-neck doves. A wooden barrel container sits at the corner of the entrance gate to Birdland, which is built with barn wood donated from several local old homesteads. Large rocks were recently moved to their current location and now outline the walkways, giving them a feeling of always having been there. Little by little, garden decorations and statuaries, also donated by local residents, can be seen here and there as they add to the country charm of the entire DHAR property. Mother Nature is doing its part as well and this year, The Old West DHAR Placita is an attraction in itself.

The Old West Placita

This week, we wish to thank all our friends, local and also from all over the US, who are generously supporting our organization in as many ways they can. We could not do the work we do without their on-going support, financial and otherwise. Many thanks to Desmond Hughes for his generous donation of dog food and treats. We always can use pet food. The canned pet food becomes a crucial addition to the diet of the residents of Dog Town and the Cool Cat Neighborhood, with the nights getting colder at this time of the year in our South-Central New Mexico Desert.

Interested in helping, or perhaps just finding out more about us? Check us out at or call us at 575-894-2778.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Week of 9/28/08 Humane Happenings

Jody Koch

The Sierra County Humane Society, Inc. has been operating since November 1989 and the service that it provides to the community is crucial. It is entirely funded through personal and corporate donations and receives no support from any government entities, local or otherwise. Contrary to popular belief, the SCHS receives no support from larger humane organizations, such as the Humane Society of the US or the ASPCA. Each animal welfare organization operates on its own. Consequently, Paws & Claws thrift shop - operated by the Society – is necessary to our organization’s success. Paws & Claws thrift shop helps cover the costs of the Spay-Neuter, Spay-a-Stray and Adopt-a-Classroom programs. It also helps operate and maintain Desert Haven, Sierra County’s no-kill domestic animal sanctuary, where every rescued animal can be guaranteed a new home or a good life without fear of ever being euthanized, except under extreme circumstances.

The Humane Society crew spent last Tuesday afternoon at Paws & Claws thrift shop, either sorting through donated items or putting-up steel shelving to be used for the shop’s once a month bag sale, to start on the third Friday in October. If you have not yet visited our newly set-up shop at its current location, consider doing so. It’s conveniently located across the alley from Family Dollar in T or C.

While you are at the shop, take time to say “hi” to Jody Koch, the shop’s new volunteer cashier. For several years now, Jody has served in our organization as its recording secretary and her new volunteer activity at Paws & Claws has been a tremendous help to all of us. Jody, who suffers from Spina Bifida, a birth defect that confines her to a wheelchair, is an inspiration to all of us who know her. We are very grateful for her help each week and extremely proud to count her as one of us.

This week, we wish to thank the anonymous contributor of a large bulletin Board to be used at Paws & Claws. It will soon help publicize our dogs and cats available for adoption, as well as become a useful information board for our community’s current events.

Special thanks go to Barbara Dreyfus who has been a strong supporter of DHAR over the years. Her recent donation of several bags of pet food was very much appreciated. We continue to need helping hands at Desert Haven and also at Paws & Claws. For more information, contact us at 505-894-2778 or check us out at

by Eliana Aubin

“A chained dog can only watch as life goes by…Please don’t chain your dog.”

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Week of 9/23/08 Humane Happenings

Diana Rivera at Paws & Claws Thrift Shop

This past Tuesday, Desert Haven was buzzing with activity as the clean-up after the latest heavy rain storms began. Kat, Jerry and John made a huge difference as they repaired some of the damage created by the heavy rains that had washed out a section of the driveway. The latest rains came at a very bad time for DHAR, as the heavy damage created by an earlier rain storm had just been repaired by heavy equipment contracted the day before.

Terry and Sharon Howell have now left Desert Haven for new adventures on wheels, after spending the entire summer at the sanctuary. This friendly and very helpful couple was well worth knowing and the members of our Desert Haven extended family have fond memories of their stay. Terry and Sharon will be hard to replace. We trust that in the not-so-distant future, they will be able to visit Desert Haven and its inhabitants again, on their way to or from one of their destination.

This past Tuesday, both Diana Rivera and Eliana Aubin were treated by the Paws & Claws and Desert Haven crew to a Birthday cake with plenty of candles. Ginny Nylen’s Hawaii Dream Cake was a huge success – exactly the type of “gooey” cake Eliana is especially fond of. Thanks, Ginny. Diana has been involved at Paws & Claws thrift shop for over four years now. Three years ago, she became the recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award at the Sierra County Humane Society yearly get-together dinner. Her time and efforts are very much welcomed and appreciated.

The local media continues to be great to our non-profit organization. We could not spread the word about everything that we do and how we help the community through our programs without the on-going support of the media in printing our Humane Happenings as a PSA in the weekly newspaper - totally free of charge to us.

Paws & Claws thrift shop, located across the alley from Family Dollar, needs volunteers to help sort clothes and recycled items and also to help display electronics and move large donated items. Volunteers are also needed to set up steel shelving in the open storage area reserved for the to-be-sorted donations and that is adjacent to the DHAR building.

Anyone with a grader and small bobcat interested in helping us repair the heavy damage created at DHAR by the recent rains, especially on the driveway? An hour of the time of an operator and his grader would do wonders to repair our major damage. We realize we are not alone in this, since Sierra County was declared a disaster area after the latest rain storms. Regardless, the damage is real and not easy to assimilate by our volunteer organization. The road repairs contracted for out of necessity last week were washed away the following night, by the walls of water that came rolling down from the adjacent hills, through the neighboring property and into Desert Haven. Such a shame that none of us can predict the immediate future, most especially when it comes to the weather in New Mexico!

Anyone interested in donating statuaries, wind chimes, perhaps a bird bath to enhance Central Bark, the garden area adjacent to the main building? We welcome any piece of old equipment to add more character to the DHAR Old West Placita.

Interested in helping in some way? Wishing to visit an animal at DHAR outside of open hours? Contact us at 894-2778 or check us out at

“Doesn’t every dog deserve a warm bed?”

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Week of 9/7/09 Humane Happenings

Gene Trelewicz

Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s no-kill domestic animal sanctuary, became the recipient of a large set of wind chimes this past Tuesday. It was built and donated by local resident Gene Trelewicz in memory of his wife Mary, who passed away in 1997.

Gene became part of the DHAR work crew several months after the land was purchased by the Sierra County Humane Society in 1999. The work crew consisted at the time of Jerry and Eliana Aubin, Leonard Bullington and Chuck & Linda Davis. It was faced with a huge undertaking in cleaning up the five-acre property of accumulated trash and debris from many years of neglect, then in removing a dead orchard, one tree at a time, also taking down and removing an old dilapidated fence, post by post. Gene’s expertise was soon put to use and he became instrumental in sorting the newly acquired tools at the sanctuary, fixing them as needed and keeping them in good state of repairs. Gene also restored some of the older donated machinery that is now housed in the large, recently completed work shop located on the property.

Local school teacher Molly Williams is moving out of the area. We are asking someone in the community to help us fill the huge gap that this dedicated animal loving lady is leaving behind. Molly is special to all of us at Desert Haven. When she adopted Trisha, a young DHAR dog, Molly realized that she could help our cause in some special ways - and she did. Aside from helping care for DHAR non-human residents when the need is crucial, Molly also regularly picks up and launders the dog and cat bedding. A beautiful park bench that she donated in memory of her mother Bessie William is sitting under a group of mesquite trees at Rainbow Bridge Pet Cemetery, facing the Caballo Mountains. If any of our animal loving readers wishes to help take care of some of our canine and feline laundry, please contact Freddie Loveless at 894-2778.

This week, we wish to thank T or C resident Bill Rogers for taking the time to visit Dog Town at Desert Haven whenever his health permits. Bill walks some of our little dogs and they love the treats he brings for them.

Deb Peters donated the use of her vehicle as well as her time this past Tuesday, to pick-up a number of RV windows donated by CJ Ellis of Caballo RV Park. Deb, a former DHAR work-camper who became a local permanent resident a few months ago, continues to support the cause of the animals of Sierra County in many ways. She generously divides her time with her employment in town and the sanctuary’s extended human and non-human family which would not be complete without her.

Anyone interested in helping keep the grounds weed-free at Rainbow Bridge? This worthwhile undertaking could also perhaps become a team project taken on by small groups of local youth. We can use your plastic containers to help with sorting and displaying recyclable items at P & C and also in the P&C storage. Pet food, canned and dry, is always a high priority.

Bullocks receipts, a community service project of our local food store, are collected again through the Cash-for-Clubs program. This year, with the new retail giant in the area, the efforts of our animal loving friends in saving and collecting Bullocks receipts for the SCHS and DHAR are even more crucial since Bullocks is the only business in our area with a program such as the Cash for Club program. This program translates into cash that helps fund the SCHS Spay-Neuter program. Applications to receive a S&N rebate from our organization can be picked up at the T or C Police station, Paws & Claws thrift shop, El Rancho Poodles and Hot Springs Animal Clinic, a local business owned and operated by Doctor Cardwell, the local veterinarian. For more information our organization, please contact us at 894-2778 or 894-1694, or visit us at

Friday, September 5, 2008

Week of 9/1/08 Humane Happenings

A young customer at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe

As of September First, Bullocks Receipts are being collected again for The Sierra County Humane Society, Inc. and Desert Haven Animal Refuge. The Cash-for- Clubs program allows Bullocks’ Grocery Store to serve the community in yet another way – by financially supporting local organizations that are also supported by the public. The program -now in its 16th year of existence - is designed to let loyal Bullocks customers decide where Bullocks’ donations should be directed, offering local organizations a cash donation equal to 2% of the cash receipts totals that are collected between September 1 and July 31. This is how it works: your Bullocks receipts earn $$$$$ for our organization when you drop them off in one of our collection boxes located at the T or C public library, Williamsburg Post Office, Cielo Vista RV Park, and Paws & Claws Thrift Shop in T or C.

This year again, through the program, the SCHS and Desert Haven have received, by far, the largest amount donated by Bullocks. Sierra County residents are obviously very supportive of our organization and we are grateful. The money collected each year is earmarked for the comprehensive Spay-Neuter program offered by our organization, with a price tag of over $8,000 each year.

Margaret Cacoperdo’s renowned spaghetti and meat ball dish was much appreciated last Tuesday, when the crew gathered for lunch at Desert Haven. Margaret is no stranger to our organization, as she and Father Peter of St Paul’s Episcopal Church in T or C regularly donated much time and efforts when they first moved to the area several years ago.

A huge “Thank-you” is in order this week to Mark Humble of Elephant Butte, Jo Brewer of New Hampshire, Mike Carson and Barbara Dreyfus of T or C for their donation of pet food or cash to purchase pet food. A very special thank-you goes to the anonymous person who so generously covered our latest pet food expense at Sierra Feeds in T or C.

Interested in visiting Desert Haven? Come out on Tuesdays, or call us at 575-894-2778 for an appointment. If you wish to adopt a dog or a cat directly from the owner, contact our Adopt-a-Pet Referral program coordinator, Stan, at 575-895-5551. Courtesy of the SCHS and thanks to the efforts of Stan Brodsky of Hillsboro, five three-month-old Calico mix kittens can be adopted out through the program. Contact the owner for more information at 575-743-3107.

This week’s wish List: Clothes racks for use at Paws & Claws – thrift shop volunteers –Statuaries and garden tools for Desert Haven. And of course our high priority : Dog and cat food, canned and dry.
By the way “Have you hugged your dog today?”

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Week of 8/24/08 Humane Happenings

Ed & Camille Pronovost

In December of 2006, because of the efforts of Camille Pronovost (who spent a couple of weeks at Desert Haven Animal Refuge with her husband Ed on their way from Connecticut to their seasonal work camping station in Arizona) The Sierra County Humane Society’s weekly newspaper column “Humane Happenings”, went on line here at

The Desert Haven Animal Refuge web log, or “blog” for short, is the way for our supporters world-wide to keep up with the news of the Sierra County Humane Society. Over time, we added an occasional “Featured Pet” and tributes to some of our beloved companion animals that crossed the Rainbow Bridge; we also included letters from readers, photos of DHAR and its volunteers, and more. From the positive comments that we are receiving on an on-going basis, the blog is proving to be an efficient way for us to share information with animal loving folks from all over.

If you have never visited us on line, we invite you to do so. Join us in making our cyber-space more community-focused and interactive. Do you have a question or concern about pet issues? Write to us at You are also welcome to comment on anything we write in Humane Happenings. Give us your input; share your own experiences regarding situations involving companion animals, that you feel may be informative to other animal loving folks in this area. At the bottom of each post, click on “comments” to write a note and to read what others have written.

Soon after her visit to Desert Haven, Camille also volunteered to be the organization’s web master. She maintains the Society’s web site at
http://www. We urge our computer-oriented readers to check it out. It’s professional, full of interesting photos and it is updated regularly. The web site also has a link to the blog and to our Petfinder list of companion animals available for adoption, either directly from Desert Haven or from the Adopt-a-Pet Referral program offered to local folks by The Sierra County Humane Society. Stan Brodsky of Hillsboro regularly updates the Petfinder section of our web site and his on-going efforts are greatly improving the adoption rate of local companion animals.
This week’s Wish list: priority one: Dog and Cat food, dry and moist - Dog Walkers and Kitty Cuddlers at Desert Haven - Volunteer helpers at Paws & Claws thrift shop - We welcome any piece of furniture our readers wish to donate, either to be used at Desert Haven or to sell at Paws & Claws thrift shop. We can be contacted at 575-894-2778 or 894-1694 for more information.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Once I was a Lonely Dog

Submitted by Robbin Brodsky, Desert Haven volunteer

Once I was a lonely dog,
Just looking for a home.
I had no place to go,
No one to call my own.

I wandered up and down the streets,
in rain in heat and snow.
I ate what ever I could find,
I was always on the go.

My skin would itch, my feet were sore,
My body ached with pain.
And no one stopped to give a pat
Or to gently say my name.

I never saw a loving glance,
I was always on the run.
For people thought that hurting me
was really lots of fun.

And then one day I heard a voice
So gentle, kind and sweet,
And arms so soft reached down to me
And took me off my feet.

"No one again will hurt you"
Was whispered in my ear.
You'll have a home to call your own
where you will know no fear."

"You will be dry, you will be warm,
you'll have enough to eat
And rest assured that when you sleep,
your dreams will all be sweet."

I was afraid I must admit,
I've lived so long in fear.
I can't remember when I let
A human come so near.

And as she tended to my wounds
And bathed and brushed my fur
She told me 'bout the rescue group
And what it meant to her.

She said, "We are a circle,
A line that never ends.
And in the center there is you
protected by new friends."

"And all around you are
the ones that check the pounds,
And those that share their home
after you've been found."

"And all the other folk
are searching near and far.
To find the perfect home for you,
where you can be a star."

She said, "There is a family,
that's waiting patiently,
and pretty soon we'll find them,
just you wait and see."

"And then they'll join our circle
they'll help to make it grow,
so there'll be room for more like you,
who have no place to go."

I waited very patiently,
The days they came and went.
Today's the day I thought,
my family will be sent.

Then just when I began to think
It wasn't meant to be,
there were people standing there
just gazing down at me.

I knew them in a heart beat,
I could tell they felt it too.
They said, "We have been waiting
for a special dog like you."

Now every night I say a prayer
to all the gods that be.
"Thank you for the life I live
and all you've given me.

But most of all protect the dogs
in the pound and on the street.
And send a Rescue Person
to lift them off their feet."

Dedicated to those that make a difference in the lives of animals, everyday! Thank you for all you do.

Week of 8/10/08 Humane Happenings


Wired hair terrier Benji is now the newest resident of Dog Town at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s no-kill domestic animal sanctuary. This well-mannered little guy is looking for a forever home and can be seen either at or at the Refuge on Tuesday morning, when the sanctuary is open for visitors. We can also be reached at 575-894-2778 to set-up an appointment.

The Adopt-a-Pet Referral program, taken over recently by Stan Brodsky of Hillsboro, is becoming an important tool in the adoption opportunities available for the local domestic animals in need of a new home. Stan handles the program in a very efficient manner and his efforts and dedication continue to result in a successful adoption rate. Aside from keeping a list of the animals available for adoption through the program, he also lists them on the Petfinder web site for DHAR, which gives them a better chance at being adopted into homes that may otherwise not be available to them. Folks who wish to adopt a new furry family member directly from the owner should consider contacting Stan at 575-895-5551.

Sharon at the "new" Paws & Claws Thrift Shop

Old and vintage items seem to be very much in demand at our new thrift shop these days. Consequently, we have reserved a special section for them. The wall sign “Vickie’s Vintage” (Vickie resides at Desert Haven) is self explanatory. Deb Peters, our former work camper-turned-permanent-local-resident recently came up with this great idea of using the name of some of our animal residents to guide customers to the section of their choice at the relocated Paws & Claws thrift shop. “Maxwell’s Den” displays ample supply of designer and select men’s clothing and shoes. “Miss Bessie’s Boudoir” displays a large selection of items that a woman may want or need. The new signs make it easier for our customers to locate specific items and at the same time advertise some of the dogs and cats at DHAR. The smiles the new signs bring to our customers’ faces are well worth the efforts that were involved in making them. Thanks, Deb, for this great idea.

We at Desert Haven and Paws & Claws thrift shop are very fortunate this Summer. Of course we still need more helpers at both locations, just as we do every summer when several members of our volunteer crew take much needed vacations, but the helpers we have at this time are very special. We appreciate our work campers Sharon & Terry, John & Kathryn, Jerry, Ron, Freddie, Linda and Erin, also our local volunteers Stan & Robbin, Deb, Gene, Diana, Dolly, Judy, Ginny, Bootz and also Eliana. Then there is our Web Master Camille who works with us from Florida, Diane who, all the way from her home in Hillsboro, sorts, prices and packages the donated craft and sewing items for display at Paws & Claws. The list continues with Carol and Kimberly who, because they both hold full-time jobs, work with us directly from their home and make themselves available as much as they possibly can.

Desert Haven is growing and consequently requires a growing number of volunteers as well. Some are working directly with the non-human residents, others are part of the administrative crew that keeps a business running, be it for profit or non-profit. The newly relocated and spacious Paws & Claws thrift shop, the major fundraiser for the Sierra County Humane Society and Desert Haven, requires more helpers now. We need the extra volunteers to stock the shelves with all the new and interesting items that are dropped-off daily. Any animal loving individual wishing to be an integral part of this labor of love in progress is encouraged to contact us at 894-2778. You can also visit our web site at

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bud & Scotty Cross the Rainbow Bridge

Scotty kisses Erin

Bud (left) and Scotty (right)

Good Bye Bud & Scotty

from Eliana:

I have some very sad news to report from Desert Haven. Two of our little guys, Bud and Scotty, died recently after they were bitten by a rattlesnake. It happened during their play ground activity in the Old West. They didn't know enough to stay away from the 2-2 ½’ rattler. Bud bit the snake, a battle ensued and Scotty rushed in to aid his brother. They both got bitten several times in the face.

Linda & Freddie rushed them to the Hot Springs Animal Clinic within 1/2 hour of their bites. The vet treated and released both of them to us that same evening, telling us they would be alright. Dr. Cardwell told Linda that he had not given them anti-venom (because it costs too much to keep that in his clinic) but that he gave them antibiotics and that the swelling would go away sooner or later and that they would be OK. So we took them back to DHAR. Linda stayed with them off and on during the night. The poor little guys were in a lot of pain all through Tuesday afternoon when, while we were working at the thrift shop between 2-4PM, they both died, approximately 26 hours or so after they were bitten.

Bud & Scotty were buried together at The Old West, with their toys. We had a memorial for them. We will have a large plaque for them, with both their names, on "Pooch Hill.” Bud and Scotty were with us since their birth at DHAR three years ago and were loved like our very own pets.


“Bud Brown”
“Scottie” (yes, just Scottie)

Born: November 2005
Departed: July 22, 2008
Bud and Scottie were born to an abandoned mother who was brought to the refuge starving and pregnant. They resided at the Desert Haven Animal Refuge in Williamsburg, New Mexico their entire lives.

Though neither was “gainfully employed” by most standards, both had jobs to do while here. Bud worked as a “Background Investigator” for DHAR, skilled in deciphering human personalities. Scottie pursued more “liberal” interests, seeking self-expression in a variety of way

Both met their match in a deadly rattlesnake.

They are survived by their mother, brothers, and sisters-all from Williamsburg.

Arrangements: A private service was held at “Pooch Hill” in the “Old West” section of DHAR at 7:30 a.m. July 26, 2008.

Officiated by: Desert Haven Animal Refuge and Sierra County Humane Society


from Stan:
I never really got to know Scotty well, so I am only writing about Bud. Bud was a friend of mine, and I am already missing him very much, especially
when I do my volunteer work at DHAR.

When I first met Bud about a year and a half ago, he didn't immediately run up to me and lick me just because I was a person and a potential friend. It took a few weeks for our friendship to solidify, and that made our friendship deeper and longer lasting than it otherwise might have been.

Bud always wanted to be the first dog to greet me when I arrived at Desert Haven Refuge in the mornings. He would position himself in the corner of his pen which was the closest he could get to the path I would follow when I first entered the Refuge. He then would wait there for me to pass, so he could welcome me with about 25 licks and a big smile in his eyes, and I, of course, gave him some significant petting and scratching at the same time. Bud was very affectionate towards his friends.

I believe all dogs are fairly intuitive when they meet someone new. An otherwise friendly dog will growl at a person, if the dog senses anything "bad" about the person. Bud's skill in this regard was unbelievable. Several times he knew a person had some very bad traits, and he tried to consistently avoid that person. All the people there thought he was crazy, until the day came when the person publically unveiled his bad side. Bud's ability to distinguish between "good" and "bad" people was truly extraordinary.

It's always a sad time when a good friend must leave you. Bud will be missed and thought of a great deal.

from Deb:

Bud Brown was not cuddly. He wouldn’t sit still for that. But when he loved you and respected you, you knew it. And if he didn’t, you knew that, too. Bud was an excellent judge of character and had a 100% accuracy rate. We knew there would be trouble if Bud said so.

Bud wanted to be a big dog. But his parents were heelers, one blue, one red, so he was resigned to being medium-sized. He fought that every step of the way, challenging his brothers and other dogs when he wasn’t busy “intellectualizing.” He had a big heart, though, and a very expressive face. Tiny furrows would develop over his eyes when he was nervous, and laugh lines would appear when he smiled. Ron and I called him “Budwig von Fuerstenberg” and imagined him with a shock of hair and a monocle, like Sherlock Holmes, always busy detecting and deducing. And we loved him for all of it.


Scottie was a rebel and an individualist. Keenly aware that he looked different from his siblings, he was constantly trying to prove himself. Rules did not apply to him. He was a dog’s dog, an adventurer. And it was this very spirit that took him from us. Jeannette came to visit one day after a trip to California with news that a rich movie mogul in L.A. saw a picture of Scottie and was interested in possibly adopting him. We were so excited for him, laughing and imagining him floating in the pool on a raft. That did not come to pass. If it did, Scottie would have life today.

I miss them.

Jeanette with Bud & Scotty

Eulogy – Funeral 7/26/08

To: Bud, “The Psycho Dog”
Scottie, “The Rebel”

I’ll never understand how the same keen senses you shared
regarding people
simply escaped you
in the midst of “pack mentality”.

Why is it that we always seem to fear
that which we don’t have to
and fight that which we should fear?

I’ll always respect you for your dignity
and grace—
and, most importantly,
for your integrity to be,
Just who you are-

Rest well, my friends,
and play hard—
No more fear-
No more restraints

Be free as the wind that flows through this Refuge-
This Stopping Place-
As you journey
On to places
We can only dream of.
-Linda Estavillo

Scotty and Steve

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Humane Happenings

by Dolly Loftus

The Placita

Depending upon the time of the year, there is always a new wrinkle to the spin of our universe. Now that the desert has absorbed all of the much needed rain, she is rewarding us the only way she knows how: beautiful wild flowers. What politically correct nonsense! They are just weeds that cause us to sneeze and track goat heads all over. The work campers at Desert Haven have added weed patrol to their usual animal patrol.

Our thanks go out to Annie and Richard and Bill and Mary Jane for their recent donations to Desert Haven. Anyone can sponsor an animal, either cat, dog or birds, by making pledges of food or money. Visit us and pick out your animal. They will love you for it. Tuesday is an especially great day to do this and join us for lunch at noon. Our other regular donors are Charles Nissem and Jessica Diehm. Every month they bring us cans and Bullock’s receipts. It’s wonderful to be on the receiving end of someone’s To Do List.

Eliana setting up a display of good china at Paws & Claws

The trend these days is “Going Green.” That’s basically what Paws and Claws is all about. Through your generous donations, we are able to recycle discarded items from one person, and ease the strain of someone’s pocketbook, or help them purchase a hard-to-find item at a minimal price. We didn’t know how really trendy we were until articles started appearing in newspapers and magazines showing how to re-decorate your house with used items or decorate your landscape with innovative yard art. Come in and see our Vintage Corner full of antiques and other collectibles. You never know how great one of these items might look in your home or yard. Perhaps you would like to volunteer to sort through our wonderful donations or help someone find a bargain. Come by and see us.

This week’s wish list: volunteers to help a few hours a week at Paws & Claws, Dog Walkers and Kitty Cuddlers, an administrative assistant, a vet tech, and pet treats. To contact us, please call 575-894-2778 or 575-894-1694, or visit us at or

Friday, August 1, 2008

Humane Happenings

by Dolly Loftus

Judy, Eliana, Jo & Ron

Just when you think the world is almost perfect, along comes another change. At Desert Haven on our usually busy Tuesdays, we have been enjoying the tireless diligence of our administrative assistant Judy. It seems that Judy would like to do some traveling starting in September. That means we have yet another opening for an industrious individual who would like to do computer work and correspondence.

If you have been to the new thrift store, you know how busy we are sorting through all of your wonderful donations and waiting on customers. We really need volunteers. If you can spare a few hours a week, you will certainly be rewarded by knowing that you are helping all of the animals that end up in our care. It’s also a great chance to make new friends and have some fun. If you feel that you could help us in either the thrift or the office, please contact us.

We also want to thank all of you who continue to donate. Please put your offerings in the drop off box on First Street, or bring them around to the store during store hours, Wednesday through Saturday.

Don’t forget to bring us your Bullocks’ receipts. This year’s campaign ends July 31, and they need to be in the shop by August 6. Anything dated after July 31 is invalid.

We lived through the remnants of Dolly and are now back to our almost perfect desert weather. A little monsoon in the afternoon never hurt anyone. Some seem to think that the excess rain brought out the snakes. One of our Desert Haven extended families was affected. Stan “The Man” Brodsky is our Pet Finder guru and dog care-giver and his wife Robbin is a Paws and Claws volunteer and resident gardener at Desert Haven. Their dog Annie was bitten by a snake last week. They live between Hillsboro and Lake Valley. Annie was taken to a vet in Las Cruces and will be on IV and antibiotics until her release. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Annie. Remember to walk heavily and carry some kind of stick. You don’t have to be in a remote area to take precautionary measures. Those critters sometimes show up in residential neighborhoods also.

A big “thank you” goes to Eliana Aubin and Robbin Brodsky for donating the succulents that are sold at the thrift store. Anyone else who has small plants that they would like to donate, please do so.

This week’s wish list: volunteers to help a few hours a week at Paws & Claws, Dog Walkers and Kitty Cuddlers, an administrative assistant and a vet tech. Pet food and treats, especially canned cat food are also on our list. To contact us, please call 575-894-2778 or 575-894-1694, or visit us at

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Humane Happenings

by Dolly Loftus

Robbin - Our "certified" groundskeeper at work

Life at Desert Haven continues to be good despite the monsoons and short-handedness among the animal care givers. One reason is Molly Williams, a special education teacher, who year round does the laundry for our critters.

The beautification of the grounds continues with donations from locals and also people who read our website and blog. The donation is usually in memory of a loved one, either animal or human who has passed away. Trees and statuary are the most popular items. We have two statues of St. Francis: a large one donated by Ardell Scartaccini and a smaller one donated by the family of Amanda Parks in her memory. There are many memorials to Jerry Aubin, co-founder of the organization, and Sally Schnetzer, a long time board member. They are mostly trees and benches which make it nice to sit and view the spectacular Caballos.

Walkway to the Cool Cat Neighborhood

Jerry Aubin's bench

Sgt. Maj. Dominic Zito and his wife Barbara donated a large hand-sewn flag in memory of Jerry which flies over the grounds on special days. The Soil Conservation District donated trees which serve as a wind break in the pet cemetery. C. J. Ellis of Caballo RV Park donated picnic tables for the RV sites and picnic area.

"Central Bark" in summer bloom

We have also received other decorative items, such as, bird baths, wagon wheels, bird houses and other decorative yard art. We can always use more; we have some very creative workcampers.

We extend a special “thank you” to Cindy and Bob Gabriel for their very generous donation in memory of Annie, Eliana’s precious dog who died accidentally several weeks ago.

The Cash for Clubs program will end, as it does every year, at the end of July; consequently, we urge anyone who has been saving Bullocks receipts to bring them as soon as possible to Paws & Claws, so we can tally them and redeem them before the deadline. Bullocks receipts received by us after the deadline can not be redeemed and will be discarded.

This week’s wish list: volunteers to help a few hours a week at Paws & Claws thrift shop, Dog Walkers and Kitty Cuddlers at Desert Haven. The kitties are in need of a good brushing. We have plenty of brushes on hand. Pet food and treats, in particular, dry and canned cat food. To contact us, please call 575-894-2778, 575-894-1694 or visit us at