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.