Friday, April 25, 2008

Week of 4/20/08 Humane Happenings


For some time now, Kudos has been due to Ray Hodges of Hodge’s Corner Restaurant in Elephant Butte. A well-known and well-liked community minded business owner and operator, Ray has been very supportive of The Sierra County Humane Society over the years. This year, he donated certificates (buy one meal, get one free) to be distributed to all the new work campers who choose Desert Haven to volunteer their time until they move on to new RV’ing adventures. The folks never fail to take advantage of his generous offer, and while they often return to the restaurant throughout their stay at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, they also share with their friends from all over the US their warm feelings about the area and also about Hodge’s Corner Restaurant and its generous and kind-hearted owner.

Welcome to DHAR, Rick and Erin. This friendly and energetic couple has taken the position of Animal Care Provider at the sanctuary and is now residing in the fifth wheel donated three summers ago by Don Whitehouse of Florida and recently renovated by John & Kathryn SPHAR. While John was installing new floor tiles throughout, Kathryn lovingly added her special touch by hand-sewing brand new curtains for all the windows. Rick and Erin’s long-term contract will allow them to become well-acquainted with all the humans and non-humans who reside at DHAR, as well as with the surrounding communities.

Desert Haven Animal Refuge is enjoying spring in a big way this year, thanks to some very special folks. John and Kathryn SPHAR set up their rig at The Homestead RV site at DHAR some months ago. Everyone at the sanctuary applauded when they decided not long ago to stay at the small sanctuary for at least a couple of years. Soon after they arrived, they very tastefully decorated their own RV site with many of the amenities of a permanent home site. Their beautification project did not stop there. Thanks to John and Kathryn, pathways, bordered by a variety of rocks hand-picked from throughout the entire area, are spreading out to the entire DHAR grounds. Jerry Andrus, the CAT-MAN of DHAR, shares in the beautification efforts by adding some special touches of his own while he tends to the watering of all the newly planted native and semi-native bushes and small trees. Many thanks to The Sierra Water & Conservation District which, very generously, donates them to Desert Haven each spring.

Jerry Andrus

Robbin Brodsky, a certified Master Gardener from Texas, drives once a week (all the way from her home several miles beyond Hillsboro) to take care of the grounds at the sanctuary. Every Thursday morning, one need not look very far to find her with gloves and pruning shears in hand, or a shovel and a container, giving the extra touch here and there on a property that grows more and more attractive each year.

Here at the sanctuary, we take this quote to heart “Let no man hang his head in shame and say: it was better here before you came”. Thanks to folks who care, Desert Haven is becoming a true haven in the heart of Desert country, for humans and rescued animals alike. Contact us at 575- 894-2778 or visit us at

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Moose Lodge Donates to DHAR


Eliana Aubin, President of the Sierra County Humane Society and CEO at Desert Haven, Sierra County’s No-Kill domestic animal sanctuary, receives a check of $2500 from Ken Johnson, Governor of Moose Lodge 2050. The very generous donation is to go towards repairs and upgrades at the sanctuary. In handing the check to Eliana, Governor Johnson said: “In a way, it’s in memory of Jerry Aubin. Jerry loved the Refuge and he always talked about the work that was being done there. He was very proud of Desert Haven“.

Jerry Aubin
Charter Member
Treasurer & Financial Advisor - SCHS

Jerry Aubin was an integral part of Moose Lodge 2050 since 1996, first as Treasurer, then as Lodge Governor and also Trustee. Jerry also served as Treasurer of The Sierra County Humane Society & Desert Haven from 1990 to 2005, until he passed away on April 9th 2005 - three years ago.

Also on top photo: Ron Alleman, Administrator of MOOSE Lodge 2050, and Linda Estavillo, Facilities Manager at Desert Haven Animal Refuge.

Week of 4/13/08 Humane Happenings

Walt & Carl work on the cement floor

This week, The Sierra County Humane Society wishes to acknowledge the members of MOOSE LODGE 2050, for their very generous donation towards upkeep and repairs at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s no-kill domestic animal sanctuary. Year after year, Moose Lodge 2050 continues to be very generous to the community and The Sierra County Humane Society is most grateful to be a recipient of the generosity of its members.

A sincere thank-you is also in order to the Rotary Club of T or C for their recent donation. Special thanks to T or C Rotarians Sandra and James Cliborne, who made it a point to add their own personal contribution as well.

Gretchen Tatsch of Las Cruces is very special to everyone involved with DHAR. A Humanitarian in the genuine sense of the word, Gretchen never fails to support DHAR in a number of ways, in-between the routine trips that she makes to India to help enhance the quality of life in that part of the world.

Molly Williams deserves a huge amount of recognition for her personal contribution to help make DHAR the success story that it is. Several years ago, Trish, a little girl-dog patiently waiting at Dog Town for her forever-home, melted Molly’s heart one day and soon went home with her to become part of Molly’s family. From that time on, Molly has been a strong member of the DHAR crew of volunteers and supporters. Thanks to Molly’s generosity, there is now a very attractive park bench at Rainbow Bridge Pet Cemetery, dedicated to the memory of her mother who spent her own life to help others. When the need arose some time ago, Molly, a school teacher, accepted to handle the weekly loads of laundry generated by the residents of Dog Town and The Cool Cat Neighborhood. When Lucky, DHAR first canine resident, became very ill earlier this year and started to lose his appetite and a lot of weight in the process, Molly started to drop-off at the sanctuary daily portions of home-cooked Chicken & Rice that Lucky seemed to prefer above any other food. Thank-you, Molly, there is a tender spot for you in the hearts of the animal-loving folks who know you.

This past Tuesday was the last volunteer work day at DHAR for Carlton Morse, a Sierra County winter resident from Back East. Because of Carl who, together with his helpers, worked very hard for the past several months, DHAR now owns a very spacious workshop, complete with cement floor, workbench and many other amenities. Also thanks to Carl, we now have a well built wooden clothes rack at the new Paws & Claws thrift shop to be opened soon. Thank-you, Carl, you will be remembered fondly.

This week’s wish list: large brown paper bags for Paws & Claws bag sale currently going on at the store’s current location - volunteers to help at the thrift shop and Desert Haven. We can be contacted at 894-2778 or visit us at

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Humane Happenings

Dolly Loftus - DH Administrative Assistant

Spring has sprung here at Desert Haven Animal Refuge. The scenery is as beautiful as ever and the desert plant life along the river is turning green. To complement nature’s handiwork, Tuesday’s work group has been planting seedlings and transplanting more mature bushes and trees to the pet cemetery. Doors and windows have completely enclosed the new workshop, thanks to Carl and Ron. Two new kitty condos were built; one is named Ted’s Cathouse in honor of its builder who recently left for home in Colorado. Those cats have some really plush quarters and plenty of love and attention from Judith and Jerry.

We have two happy dogs ready for adoption. One is Emmy, a cocker-spaniel mix, who is being foster-cared by one of our work campers, Judy. Emmy is house-trained, playful and an excellent companion. She has a cocker face and body, but a long swishy tail. However, Judy’s CAT says that Emmy is taking too much of Judy’s affection and is getting a little jealous. Our other dog is Zip, a one year old male Chihuahua. Here’s a great intelligent pet for all you small dog lovers.

Rebecca Porter from over Deming way sent Freddie a wonderful “thank you” note for her tour of the facility. She hopes to someday do something similar in her area. Carol Tavis has been volunteering in the office for the past few weeks and is an outstanding computer whiz. Thanks, Carol. We look forward to more of your help.

Our wish list for this week: canned and dry cat food, sunflower seeds, wild bird seed, volunteers at Paws and Claws thrift shop, Dog Walkers and Kitty Cuddlers at Desert Haven Animal Refuge. For more information or to volunteer a couple hours a week, contact Freddie at 575-894-2778 and check out our web site at

by Dolly Loftus

Humane Happenings

Stan - a DH volunteer

Things have been exciting for the past month or so with the set-up of our new store and the half-price sale continuing at the old Paws and Claws. Our customers are eagerly asking questions about the new store as they take advantage of our bargain prices.

We really couldn’t do any of this without our volunteers, both local and work campers. What a spirited and happy group, who pitch in and do whatever is necessary! Milt and Judith Papas got creative and insisted on painting the wall close to the “Book Nook.” Needless to say, it has given that portion of the store a whole new Southwestern flavor. Unfortunately, we are going to lose these two tireless volunteers on April the second. Ted and Fay, repeat work campers from Colorado, will be leaving us the end of the week. These people are typical, “What do you need us to do?” Please come back next year.

We are extremely excited by the donations from the Moose (picture and details in two weeks) and the Elephant Butte American Legion whose picture and details will probably be published in this week’s newspaper. It continually amazes us to see the generosity of our local businesses and civic organizations. You know we couldn’t do it without you.

On a sad but positive note, there is a tribute to our Refuge dog Lucky, who recently died of lymphoma. The segment was compiled by Camille, our webmaster and Stan. It’s extremely moving: check it out at

Unfortunately, our wish list always seems to be the same: canned and dry cat food, canned dog food, sunflower seeds, volunteers at Paws & Claws thrift shop, Dog Walkers and Kitty Cuddlers at Desert Haven Animal Refuge. For more information or to volunteer a couple hours a week, contact Freddie at 575-894-2778. Check out our web site at

by Dolly Loftus