Friday, June 20, 2008

Week of 6/15/08 Humane Happenings

Kita (adopted from DHAR) with Sophia Nelson

Congratulations to Rebecka West of Albuquerque, This very young lady became this year’s Sierra County Humane Society’s first Junior member. She joins eight-year old Sophia Nelson of North Carolina, who is also a member. Sophia became a Junior member of the organization when she was 3 years old and then a Lifetime member three years ago.

Rae and her husband Richard Caron, who had committed to work camp at DHAR until Fall, had to cut short their commitment to return immediately back East, due to a tragedy in their family. This great couple will be missed. Anyone locally interested in helping with animal care a couple of hours a week at DHAR, either as dog walker or kitty cuddler? Contact us at 894-2778 for more information.

If you have not visited DHAR in a while, consider doing so now. You would be very surprised at the on-going changes that are being made by a very dedicated, hard-working animal loving crew. An RV’ing couple from Illinois, Jean and Jeany James who stayed at Desert Haven RV campground for several days, described the adjacent domestic animal sanctuary as “beautiful “. Sure is nice to hear compliments from folks who have traveled all over the US and have seen a lot of beautiful sites and places along the way.

Have you visited the new Paws & Claws thrift shop lately? Erin, a painter by trade and an animal lover by heart, is now DHAR official painter, and together with Sharon, they are transforming some white walls from drab into bright and cheery. Good work, ladies!

Erin (top), Rae (bottom left) and Judy (bottom right)

Interested in donating some of your time to help a worthy cause? Consider volunteering a few hours each week at Paws & Claws. It’s a fun place to work! By the way, we could use several medium to large pieces of used carpet for the shop's floors.

Long overdue Kudos are in order for Ron Gjurovich these days. Ron traveled from New York to DHAR last year, to settle at the small sanctuary as a work-camper. Since then, even though he no longer resides there, he continues to be a extremely valuable asset to the no-kill facility, as well as to Paws & Claws thrift shop where one can meet him every Friday as he works on one of the several on-going projects always lined-up for him there. The Sierra County Humane Society & Desert Haven are indeed very fortunate to count Ron as an integral part of its long-term crew.

Bullock’s receipts continue to be collected and Josephine Varnum picks them up every week, to tally them and redeem them for our organization. Please, drop-off your receipts at Paws & Claws thrift shop as soon as possible, to give Josephine time to redeem them before the program ends at the end of July, as it does every year.

Dry and moist cat food is high on our priority Wish-List at this time.

We can be contacted at 894-2778, 740-0643 or visit us at .

Until next week, “Enrich your life, get a cat”

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Week of 6/8/08 Humane Happenings

Anabel & Bootz

Anabel has found her way to Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s no-kill domestic animal sanctuary. If some of our readers are interested in a calm, non-shedding, absolutely adorable lap dog, Desert Haven has just taken one under its wings: this 5 years old Maltese-terrier will melt your heart for sure. You can visit her at the small sanctuary’s DogTown on Tuesdays, or check her out either on our web site or on Petfinder.

This week, we thank Harold and Julie Gilmore for donating dog food and dog treats - items we always need.

Also, many thanks to Annie & Richard Millard and to Lee Garner for their on-going support. Congratulations are in order to Leonard Bullington for recently becoming a Life Member of the Sierra County Humane Society. Leonard is very important to DHAR, as an integral part of the initial work crew that built Desert Haven from the grounds up. At that time, the entire DHAR crew consisted of Jerry and Eliana Aubin, Gene Trelewicz, Leonard Bullington and also Chuck and Linda Davis. With tenacity, good planning and a lot of hard work, they accomplished what they intended to do: build a small oasis of compassion in the heart of Desert country.

This week’s wish list: dry dog and cat food and treats. They can be dropped-off at the new Paws & Claws thrift shop located in the building formerly occupied by Southwest Small Engine Repairs, across the alley from Family Dollar on South Date Street.

We also need small plant containers. Some of our members would like to bring us some of their houseplants to sell at Paws & Claws, but we don’t have the pots to transplant them in.

Need helpers at Paws & Claws, to work a few hours a week with our crew, in a pleasant environment.

Note to the nice folks who drop-off their furniture and donated items around the drop-off box on First Street: there are unscrupulous folks who will take anything that is not nailed down. Consequently, items and furniture should be dropped-off at the new location as much as possible, when the shop is open - Wednesday through Saturday. The hours of operations are posted at our front window. For more information, contact us at 894-2778 or 740-0643.

Desert Haven beautification project is on-going. The human residents at DHAR are making things happen and it shows. Do you have Statuary, perhaps a bird bath you would like to donate? Perhaps some fun items for our walkways, or a bench, some wind chimes for Rainbow Bridge, also an interesting item or two for the Old West placita or the Trail. Contact us at 740-0643 or 894894-2778. Visit our web site at

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Week of 6/1/08 Humane Happenings

Wedding party - Jerry Andrus, John & Kathryn Sphar, Deb Peters

Congratulations are in order for John and Kathryn Sphar, a work camping couple who currently reside at Desert Haven Animal Refuge. John and Kathryn recently renewed their five year old wedding vows and it was a real honor for the entire DHAR volunteer crew to be invited to their very heartwarming ceremony. This truly great couple has been living at the animal sanctuary since Spring of last year and we are very hopeful that they will continue to live on the property for, at the very least, a couple more years.

John & Kathryn renew their vows

DHAR is absolutely gorgeous at this time of the year with some of the native and semi native bushes and trees, including Desert Willows and Birds of Paradise, in full bloom.

The DHAR Beautification project has been on-going for the past several years, and everybody involved from the very start deserves a huge pat on the back. With time, patience, and loving care, the plantings are now substantial and everything around them is falling into place. The recent major movers and shakers in this on-going labor of love in the DHAR beautification project have been John and Kathryn and also Jerry Andrus, as well as Robbin of Hillsboro, who have all put their hearts into it, and it shows!

If any of our readers wishes to donate a statuary or two, some wind chimes or a bench for Rainbow Bridge Pet Cemetery, perhaps a bird bath, some fun or interesting items to decorate the Old West Placita for example, or something special for the main entrance to the building and Dog Town, please consider contacting us for pick up at 575-740-0643 or 894-2639, or drop it off at Paws & Claws Thrift Shop, when we are open for business from Wednesday through Saturday.

Erin, Rick, Karma, & Eliana

Rick and Erin are now settled as DHAR Animal Care providers and Caretakers. Hard working young folks who genuinely care about animals, they both are becoming a real asset at our animal sanctuary. Rick is already making his mark as he goes around the entire DHAR property, insuring that everything works well and what does not gets fixed as needed. We at Desert Haven feel very fortunate to have this young and energetic couple on board.

Greatly Needed: Volunteers to help for a couple or so hours each week at Paws & Claws, Dog walkers for some of our smaller dogs. Wood burning or wood carving tool set, to help us make needed signs throughout DHAR. Someone to work either from home or Desert Haven on Tuesdays, to handle one of DHAR programs, which involves light paperwork and some phone calls.. Of course we always need dry pet food and treats.

NOTE to Arlene who recently called from Hillsboro about a have-a-heart animal trap, please give us your phone number again - We could not understand it on our answering machine.

We can be contacted at 575-894-2778, 575-740-0643 or visit us at

In Memory of Annie 1994-2008

Annie in Eliana's arms

I cherished my little girl.

I found her 14 years ago, during the month of May. I caught this little ball of matted and unkempt fur running through the rocks and the vegetation on the side of the country road we were driving on. My husband and I were returning home from town - a 12 mile trip, totally in the boondocks.

She, a Maltese, and her little companion, a very small poodle, did not even look like dogs. Their dirty hair had grown very long and matted and made them look like some unrecognizable wild animals. They had obviously been lost for some time. I still don't know how they survived in the desert, maybe by eating insects. They both were unusually still fond of insects long after they had been brought back to health at my house.

That day, when we stopped the truck, they ran across the road away from us, and in a minute, they were already gone, deeper into the desert brush. I ran after them as quickly as I could, over the rocks and around the cactus...with my high heels and dress....must have been a funny sight!

It took over 45 min of running and trying to coax them both. Annie, a tiny little girl-dog at the time, only a couple of months old, was tangled up in a cholla cactus. A piece of long-needled cholla was caught between her little legs, against her skin and her matted hair. She could not go any further. She stopped, waiting for me to reach her...uneasy...totally exhausted and surely in pain.

It took all I had to coax her without being bitten by the little poodle who was protecting her. I was afraid they both might run from me again. I finally picked her up and the poodle, which I later named Amos, followed a few feet behind us.

Eliana with Amos (left) and Annie(right)

It took many weeks for me to bring Amos and Annie back to health. They were in very bad shape. I took care of Annie's infection caused by the piece of cholla embedded in her skin. Amos and Annie were very afraid of people. My husband could not pet them for months. They ran back to me as soon as he started to walk towards them, and they hid behind my feet or got very close against my legs.

During the summer, they became my constant companions and I was in seventh heaven. Amos and Annie would not leave me for a second when I was home. I absolutely adored the two little ones. Later on that same summer, Amos was caught by three coyotes. I will never forget that tragic experience. But Annie and I became even more attached to each other. She was my precious little angel - we had a very special bond, she and I. I called her my "Scoobidoo Love Bug". I really miss my little angel.

Chacotah, Eliana & Annie

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Week of 5/25/08 Humane Happenings


The Dog Days of Summer are just around the corner and it’s no wonder that one can already feel the new canine energy throughout Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s no-kill domestic animal sanctuary. Most Summer swimming pools are already out at Dog Town, for all canine residents to use and enjoy - and enjoy they sure do!

This week, we have several young kittens available for adoption through our Adopt-a-Pet Referral program, that Stan Brodsky kindly took over recently and is operating from his home in Hillsboro. Two of them are short haired, about 8 weeks old, both with colors of brown, black and yellow. The other two kittens, a female Calico and a male Tiger Stripe, with shades of grey and white, have blue/grey eyes. Interested in adopting a small kitty or two? or perhaps you prefer a dog? Contact Stan at 575-895-5551 or visit us at, through a link from

If any of our readers without access to our local newspaper wishes to use the internet to keep up with the weekly happenings at Desert Haven, Camille Pronovost of Florida updates our blog regularly at Not only current and informative, it is also full of great photos of DHAR’s companion animals living their lives to the fullest while waiting for their forever home, as well as photos of their environment and, just as importantly, of the wonderful volunteers who, through their dedication and hard work, give those non-human residents of the no-kill sanctuary the second chance that every creature on this Earth rightfully deserves.

This week’s high priority wish list: dry dog and cat food, bird and sunflower seeds for our doves and peacocks, chicken scratch for our bantam chickens and roosters. With Summer almost here, several of our long-term volunteers are taking some much needed vacation. We need help to fill-in while they are gone: dog walkers and kitty cuddlers at Desert Haven, any day of the week. Also needed: volunteers to help us complete our relocation in our new Paws & Claws, now located across the alley from Family Dollar. Contact us at 575-894-2778 for more information on how you can help further the cause of Sierra County’s unwanted domestic animals – including sharing in the care of the lucky ones who found their way to Desert Haven.

Our mailing address is: POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942. You can also visit us at

In Memory of Annie, Eliana Aubin’s treasured little girl-dog, and of Casey, Leonard Bullington’s beloved constant canine companion, also to all those who recently have lost a dear animal friend:

“Our pets - angels without wings who fill our lives with wonderful things – their memory will be in our hearts forever”.

Humane Happenings

Jerry Andrus

Now that the warm weather is finally here (forget that we were freezing on May 15th and 16th), we are changing the regime for the pets at the refuge, as all pet lover should. Exercise your pet in the cool of early morning and in the evening after sunset. If you have to leave your animals outside for the whole day, make sure they have adequate shade and plenty of water. When traveling in a vehicle, make sure the animals have plenty of air along with bottled water and a dish. Large cities frown on animals being left in a car or truck for even short periods of time.

Jerry Andrus, an extremely reliable workcamper, recently signed up for a life membership in the Sierra County Humane Society. Jerry has been responsible for getting most of the workcampers to be members of SCHS. Just a reminder to those of you who have been members in the past or who have not renewed for this year, please do so. Your membership is the backbone of all our activities.

We have found a way to recycle your old cell phones, so please bring them to us at Paws and Claws. If you bring your accessories, we can sell them at a reduced price to others. Our bag sales of great merchandise continue, so come by and see what you can’t live without.

Ruth Wenning, a long-time supporter, came by the refuge with donations of dog treats, a blanket and a ham for the workcamper’s lunch. Several months ago, Ruth rescued a dog that she was unable to care for and brought him to us. His name was Sport and he has since been adopted out to a loving family. Just another success story!

This week’s wish list: dry dog food, volunteers at Paws and Claws Thrift Shop and 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 website at

by Dolly Loftus
DH Exececutive Secretary