Sunday, April 26, 2009

Week of 4/19/09 Humane Happenings

Steve & Webster

By Eliana Aubin

It takes special folks to make an animal welfare organization successful, such as the Sierra County Humane Society, Inc. and Desert Haven Animal Refuge. Volunteer work is not for everyone, and those who volunteer in a small community like ours seem to have their plate always full while wearing several hats at a time. Caring for domestic animals on a daily basis requires dedication, commitment and a great amount of love.

This week, we wish to thank Joy Arnold and her husband Joe Pack, who moved to this area sometime in the summer of last year. Their interest in giving back to Society, together with their love of animals, have brought them to Desert Haven. While Joy handles administrative assistant’s duties every Tuesday morning, Joe Pack helps keep Desert Haven in good state of repairs and comfortable for all its furry and feathered inhabitants. The Mutt Hutt, the large dog house that Rufus and Shadow-2 are sharing in the Mighty Mutts’ yard, looks very Southwestern now, thanks to Joe Pack and Tom, a work camper who spent the Winter at DHAR with his wife Juicy. Rufus is now able to climb on the high platform that they built with him in mind. Gene Wagner recently put the finishing touches on The High Rise, a fancy dog house in the Cape Cod West yard, current home to Indy, Vicky and Shadow. The bright red with white trim structure allows inquisitive Indy, who also likes high places, to feel on top of the world as he oversees his domain at Dog Town from his privileged pad. There is also The Puppy Club House located in the Pooch Play yard. Several lap-dogs are sharing the yard and its structure which was very recently upgraded to add to the comfort of small sized dogs. The Penthouse, formerly housing Lucky, DHAR’s mascot and it’s very first canine, is now home to Maxwell and Mosey. Mosey has taken a liking to The Loft, where Lucky used to spend his days watching over Dog Town, as he used to welcome visitors from his favorite place.

Desert Haven is a true sanctuary, where furry and feathered creatures have a unique chance to enjoy life at its best, either until they are adopted or to the end of their natural life. The animal loving folks who live nearby and those who come from all over the US to care for these creatures, have the chance to get to know each and everyone of our precious animals, to treat them just as if they were their own, and they do. It’s a very special feeling that only a small and home-like sanctuary such as DHAR can provide.

Interested in learning more about our organization? Contact us at 575-894-2778, e-mail us at, visit us on Tuesdays, or

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Week of 4/12/09 Humane Happenings

Juicy in the Mighty Mutts Play Yard

By Eliana Aubin

The Sierra County Humane Society, Inc. uses several avenues to raise funds for some of it’s most crucial programs, including the Spay-Neuter (S/N) and Spay-a-Stray programs, which by themselves cost our local animal welfare organization over $8,000 each year. Bullocks receipts, Pennies for Pets, Doggie Banks and also Cans for Critters are some of our ways to raise funds.

Interested in helping our organization keep this worthwhile program alive? Collect bags of aluminum cans and drop them off at Paws & Claws thrift shop when it is open for business, from Wednesday through Saturday. You can also drop them off at Desert Haven when visiting, or contact us at 894-2778 for the location of our Can Corral on East First Street. This program allows our organization to not only help with the local “green” movement and keep Sierra County Beautiful, but it also brings in $$$ for our Spay-Neuter and Spay-a-Stray program.

Through our spay-neuter (S/N) program, the SCHS distributes rebates to pet owners interested in getting their companion animal sterilized but needing the financial incentive to do so. The S/N applications are available at Paws & Claws thrift shop and also at the T or C Police station, which has been the applications' pick-up point since the program started almost 20 years ago.

Our Spay-a-Stray program allows feral cats to be sterilized at no cost to their caretakers. The typical feral cat is born outside and has never lived in a home with a human family - feral cats inhabit a niche in our world totally their own, neither truly wild nor potential pets. Did you know that more cats are killed intentionally in the US than die of any other documented cause? Every day in every state, feral and stray cats are being exterminated, and this killing is funded by our tax dollars - wasteful, cruel, ineffective and, according to reliable sources, completely unnecessary. We believe that killing them systematically not only is inexcusable, but it does not even solve the problem of feral cat overpopulation. On the other hand, sterilizing feral cats steadily decreases their population. It is also cheaper to neuter a feral cat than to impound, house, kill and dispose of their body.

We believe in a common sense solution to senseless killing, and consequently, in the mid-90’s, we adopted the trap-neuter-release method of controlling feral cats in our communities. It’s also the humane thing to do. The SCHS picks- up the tab, and our local veterinarian performs his services for the Spay-a-Stray sterilization at a reduced rate.

Interested in learning more about our organization? contact us at 575-894-2778, e-mail us at, visit us on Tuesdays, or check us out at

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Week of 4/5/09 Humane Happenings

Jeanette Galliard & Tripp

By Eliana Aubin

Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s domestic animal sanctuary, is welcoming Skip & Marjory of Casa Grande AZ, Don & Ana-Lise of Oregon, and Dee, Dave & son Garrath of California.

Several DHAR Winter crew members have now left to continue on their journey towards new RV’ing experiences and new horizons. John and Rockett, the last “remnant” of our seasonal crew of work campers, will also be leaving this week. They will be sorely missed. John and Rockett were not only very helpful at the sanctuary and Paws&Claws thrift shop, often going above and beyond the line of duty, but they involved themselves in the community as well. They joined the local recycling movement; They became part of hiking groups and other healthy and fun activities during their several months stay at DHAR campground. As importantly, they spent many tourist dollars frequenting local shops, restaurants and Hot Springs while also visiting the entire Southwestern New Mexico region.

CJ of Caballo Lake RV park continues to be a strong supporter of DHAR in many ways. The picnic tables that are enjoyed by everyone in the DHAR RV campground came from CJ‘s park. Regularly, CJ donates construction material and other items to our sanctuary, as well as recyclable items to Paws&Claws thrift shop. The good vibes that are sent our way by this caring lady continue to be felt in many ways - someone who resides in her park and who wishes to stay anonymous regularly drops-off pet food at DHAR, we receive contributions from traveling folks who hear about us from her. Jeanette Galliard of Albuquerque, who spends her monthly R&R in her park, not only adopted Tripp, a dog of DHAR, but also became a strong, long-term supporter of our cause.

We continue to appreciate the seedlings donated to DHAR every year at this time by the Sierra Soil and Water Conversation District. Seedlings and potted native and semi-native plants help beautify the five acre Desert Haven property. Pruning the growing vegetation and watering the new plantings will soon become a weekly task in our high desert in this part of New Mexico. We certainly need a few extra hands year’ round to help our crew keep Desert Haven beautiful.

Wish List: shelving and roofing material for DHAR, bird seeds, cat food, dog and cat treats. We also need someone to help both Administrative Assistant and Bookkeeper in our DHAR office every Tuesday morning - computer skills helpful but not absolutely necessary.

For more information on how you can help our volunteer organization in some way, contact us at 894-2778, e-mail us at, visit us on Tuesdays, or check us out at For adoption purposes, you can also call us at 894-2778 for an appointment.