Friday, March 27, 2009

Week of 3/22/09 Humane Happenings

Feather in the Cool Cat Neighborhood

By Eliana Aubin

There is nothing like Desert Haven Animal Refuge (DHAR) on a Tuesday to uplift a spirit or warm a heart. This Tuesday was no different. The volunteer and work camping crew is currently taking care of (27) dogs of all sizes and temperaments at Dog Town, with a group of thirty (30) kitties in the Cool Cat Neighborhood, plus a large number of guinea pigs in Miss Piglet‘s Boarding House and it’s adjacent quarters. Several rabbits, miniature roosters and hens, peacocks, white and domesticated ring neck doves reside in Birdland & Animal House. Besides caring for all these non-human residents of DHAR, the volunteer crew is also maintaining the grounds and keeping in good state of repair and upkeep the entire five-acre property, including it’s headquarters and office building, several workshops and service areas, together with a number of large animal and bird habitats. This Spring, among other important projects, the Peacocks Courtyard is being completed, and we especially owe Gene Wagner a huge thank-you for all his hard work above and beyond the line of duty so to speak. Among other projects undertaken this past Tuesday by a hard-working crew, Deb Peters and Ted Earley completed resurfaced the roof of the camp host residence at DHAR campground. Every year, Desert Haven looks and feels a little homier, a little more comfortable, and a little more attractive for all its residents and visitors alike.

In a few days, RV’ers Tom and Juicy Garvin of Ohio, Jeff Nowlan of New Jersey and Brad Baidinger of Michigan will pull-up stakes once again, after having given DHAR and its furry and feathered residents much of their time and energy over many months to help give them the new life they are now enjoying at the domestic animal sanctuary. Thanks to a wonderful group of animal loving folks, DHAR continues to make a positive impact on the life of innocent creatures who need all of us to protect them and speak out for them.

This past Tuesday, Lee and David Gilmer of Albuquerque - long-time supporters of our small but very active organization, visited the sanctuary for the first time in several years. We were very pleased to enjoy their company at lunchtime. Their generous donation before they returned to their Albuquerque home confirmed their unequivocal show of support of what Desert Haven is all about.

Wish list: several folks to help with watering and pruning and also with administrative duties at DHAR on Tuesdays ; Dog walkers and Kitty cuddlers; Pet treats and canned food - Helpers at Paw&Claws. Contact us at 894-2778, e-mail us at, visit us on Tuesday, or check us out at

Friday, March 20, 2009

Week of 3/15/09 Humane Happenings

Tom, Butch & Jeff hard at it!

By Eliana Aubin

The beautiful Spring-like weather was enjoyed at Desert Haven Animal Refuge last Tuesday, by a larger than usual work crew of local volunteers and work campers alike. With the full cooperation of our Southern New Mexico weather, several among a long list of on-going projects were taken on and a lot was accomplished at the end of the day - a truly productive and very enjoyable day!

At this time of the year, painting seems to be one of the priorities at the small domestic animal sanctuary. The “new and improved” Mutt Hutt at Dog Town received its first coat of Southwestern paint. Then came the turn of the Canine Cottage to be freshened-up, and last but not least, the Rainbow Bridge Pet Cemetery cedar picket fence that runs along the driveway ( AKA “Horney Toad Road“) is being prepped for a much needed new coat of protective stain. Another couple of Tuesday, another few extra hands to share with the painting and grounds keeping activities and the Spring clean-up and beautification of Desert Haven will be well on its way.

Dog Town is a fun place to be these days - for dog lovers that is - as every doggy residential area is now fully occupied. From the Penthouse Courtyard to the Canine Cottage, then the Mighty Mutts playground, together with the Pooch Play Yard and it’s adjacent piece of real estate we name “Cape Cod West” from it’s Cape Cod style dog house, also the VIP ( Very Important Pets) yard and it’s indoor section we call “Gene’s Doghouse“, dogs of all sizes and breeds - or so it seems - are enjoying their new leash on life at the no-kill sanctuary. A full life indeed for the lucky dogs of Dog Town at Desert Haven Animal Refuge.

At this time, perhaps some of our readers will consider donating their left-over construction material to us. We it, we could build or complete a new project or two - a spacious dog house, a porch or platform on an existing dog house to help protect the canine residents from the summer sun. With the needed material, we are could build ramps and steps for some of our older and also our smaller dogs. Roofing material, posts and fencing material, also your left-over paint or wood stain are all on our wish-list these days.

Anyone interested in helping keep the DHAR bushes and trees watered and pruned? Call us at 894-2778, or visit DHAR on Tuesday, when everyone shares in a project or another. Do you have a couple of hours or so a week to share with our Paws&Claws crew? We need your help at our thrift shop. For more information, e-mail us at, visit us on Tuesday, or check us out at

To all our readers who have been loyal to us for so many years, thank-you and have a purr-fect week.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Week of 3/8/09 Humane Happenings

By Eliana Aubin

Reba prepares dinner at Dog Town

Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s no-kill domestic animal sanctuary, welcomes Don and Inid of Sierra Vista who arrived on location this past Tuesday to join a congenial, resourceful and dedicated group of work-campers who are helping the DHAR volunteer crew care for the non-human sanctuary residents. We currently have twenty-eight (28) canines of all sizes and breeds at Dog Town and 32 felines who enjoy the luxury of The Cool Cat Neighborhood, a 1200 square feet feline equivalent of a five star gated community. DHAR also houses a large flock of white and domesticated ring-neck doves, several peacocks, many guinea pigs and a number of miniature chickens and roosters who live comfortably in spacious habitats at Birdland & Animal House.

Work campers at DHAR also help maintain and upgrade the five-acre property and its buildings. We hope that Don and Inid will enjoy their stay at Desert Haven while checking out the many amenities that Sierra County has to offer, including lakes, great museums, hot baths and restaurants, together with a healthy climate that is hard to beat.

There is a lot of activity at Dog Town these days, with the recent arrival of several new resident canine rescues, most of them very small to medium, and all of them young. There is Sahara, female Aussie - Pugsley, cute-as-a-button pug mix -Shasta, playful terrier - Monty the dachshund - Dakota, rust and black long hair Dachshund mix - Sparky, rust white and brown bird dog - Danny Boy, slender black lab. And there is little Scruffy the new mom. Scruffy came to us very pregnant, and her seven puppies, now only a few days old, are the newest and youngest residents- by far - of Dog Town.

Scruffy went through difficult times in her short life before coming to DHAR, but now all that is behind her; At Desert Haven, this new little mom is receiving all the love and care that she deserves and, as she nurses her pups in the sanctuary’s peaceful and safe environment, she never fails to bring many strong emotions in the hearts of those who help care for her. As soon as they have their veterinary check-up and are sterilized, all these new residents will be ready to be adopted into their forever loving home.

Priority wish list: Pet treats and canned food - Helpers at Paw&Claws - Dog walkers, Kitty cuddlers and office helpers at DHAR. Someone to help with watering and pruning at DHAR. Contact us at 894-277, e-mail us at, visit us on Tuesday, or check us out at

Monday, March 9, 2009

Week of 3/1/09 Humane Happenings

By Eliana Aubin

Bessie in her new home

There is always something to rejoice about at Desert Haven Animal Refuge (DHAR), Sierra County’s no-kill domestic animal sanctuary. Several residents of Dog Town were recently adopted out, including shy little Bessie, who was born at DHAR over four years ago, together with five siblings. Her mother, a heeler, had been rescued at the sanctuary a few days before, starving and pregnant.

Although we rescue as many companion animals as we can without jeopardizing the health or life of those who reside there already, our sanctuary does not have the resources to take in every unwanted or abandoned dog or cat in Sierra County. We cannot save them all, but we certainly make a difference in the lives of those that we can save, and this is what keeps us energized.

Joe Pack Arnold of TorC is DHAR’s newest volunteer and he has already made his mark. A donated dog house in need of repairs is Joe Pack’s latest project and, once strengthened and painted, it will once again be made available to the residents of the Mighty Mutts Playground at Dog Town. Dog houses, cat platforms, construction material to build some, roofing material and left-over paint are always on our wish list, so if our readers have something they consider donating, contact us at 894-2778. Our crew is resourceful and donated material is always put to good use.

It’s amazing how many compliments we receive on how clean and cheery our animal residents quarters are. Not only we have a crew of volunteers who take pride in what they do as they maintain them clean and in good state or repairs, but the many gallons of bright and colorful paint that we use every Spring help keep them that way.

The drop-off box at Paws&Claws ( P&C) thrift shop is now relocated at the new shop location, across the alley from Family Dollar. We appreciate our animal loving friends for donating to our cause gently used items and also furniture, which is in high demand in this area. If you have a truck and a couple of hours a week on your hands, consider helping us move some of that furniture to P&C.

Priority wish list: Pet treats and canned food - Roll of roofing material - Helpers at P&C - Dog walkers and Kitty cuddlers - office helpers at DHAR. Art Rowher of TorC is DHAR’s grounds keeper. With a new growing season approaching and 5 acres of grounds to maintain, Art could use some help on Tuesdays. Visit us on Tuesday, or check us out here on the blog which Camille of Florida updates weekly and at

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Week of 2/17/09 Humane Happenings

By Eliana Aubin

Reba, Desert Haven Animal Care Coordinator, prepares breakfast for the residents of Dog Town

This week, we wish to thank Pat at Movie Gallery for letting the Sierra County Humane Society keep a poster board at her place of business and update it as time permits. Pat also collects bags of dog and cat food from customers who visit her establishment. Kudos are due to Rockett Morgan of Ohio, who currently work camps at DHAR with her husband John. Rockett recently updated Desert Haven’s poster boards at several businesses in T or C, with photos of most of the newest rescues at the no-kill sanctuary. Our DHAR crew feels especially fortunate at this time, as several of the newest Dog Town arrivals were adopted out sooner than anticipated. Thanks to our diligent web masters - Camille Pronovost of Florida and Stan Brodsky of Hillsboro - both our web sites and blog and and this blog ) are updated weekly and kept interesting as they attract more and more attention from animal loving folks from all over the country.

Little Whitney is a lucky little girl-dog indeed. Only eight pounds and not yet one year old, Whitney has already won the hearts of everyone who has connected with her in some way. She was recently rescued at DHAR and almost immediately underwent a risky but lifesaving surgery. Only a few days after her return home from surgery, it was discovered that this fragile little dog had become pregnant before being rescued at Desert haven. The unborn pups were pushing against her repaired diaphragm, causing it to tear again. Another out-of-town trip was made - another risky but lifesaving surgery was immediately performed. Whitney’s ordeal is now over and she is recuperating surprisingly well. This little one embodies the philosophy of Sierra County’s no-kill sanctuary, where every creature is given every chance possible at a new and a good life. An innocent creature who was betrayed by the human who not only abandoned her, but injured her as well, is given “a new leash on life” at Desert Haven, a safe and compassionate environment.

This week’s wish list: sunflower seeds, dog and cat treats, dry and canned cat food. Interested in learning more about us? Feeling lonely and wanting to meet folks of kindred spirit and make new friends? Looking for a new companion animal? Perhaps you wish to become a volunteer either at Desert Haven or Paws&Claws thrift shop? Contact us at 894-2778 or visit us on Tuesdays, when the sanctuary is open for visitors. “It’s a good day to be a DHAR volunteer!”