Friday, June 26, 2009

Humane Happenings

Dog walking - Sparky & Sophie

by Dolly Loftus

A Tale of Tails. That sounds like a good name for the log that our animal care coordinator Reba uses to keep track of our adoptees. Tuesday morning at the work campers’ regular meeting, Reba brought us up-to-date on how our furry friends were doing. It turns out that our friends have ventured near and far from Desert Haven. Two have gone with snowbirds to Canada and Michigan, but will be back when their weather turns cold. Some like Noah, Monty and Crystal are as close as Elephant Butte and T or C. Reba mentioned that some dogs’ names have been changed and told cute stories relayed by the animals’ present companions. Landscape work continues as cuttings from the Virginia creeper are planted. The light rain made working outside a pleasure.

We have a new dog that will be up for adoption soon. She’s a long-haired Chihuahua about two to three years old with honey-colored fur named Sara. She was found in Elephant Butte some weeks ago. The lady who rescued her went to great lengths to find the owner, but the consensus is that she wandered off from some Memorial Day campers. If Sara doesn’t sound like the pet for you, check out our website for more dogs and cats.

Our thrift store Paws and Claws continues to thrive with your generous donations. We always need more volunteers to help sort clothing and other items. At the present time, we are looking for someone who is free on Friday to test electronics to make sure they are in working order. We would prefer a gentleman, because some things are heavy and awkward to handle. If you are interested, please call 894-2778.

Our wish list for this week includes cat treats, dog treats, and cat toys. Remember to visit Desert Haven Animal Refuge on Tuesday when we are open to the public, and join us for lunch. Paws and Claws is open Wednesday through Saturday.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Humane Happenings

photo by Charles Nissen

Desert Haven Animal Refuge is living up to its name more and more every day. Just recently we have taken in Hardy, a long-haired blond Chihuahua/ mix, about two years old. Another dog that we have given refuge to is Oliver, a black/brown colored Chihuahua/Daschund mix, about six months to a year. For over a year, people have been telling us that they want to adopt smaller dogs and puppies. Now, we have both in good supply. Trixie, one of Scruffy’s puppies, was adopted this week. There are still six squirming little bundles of joy left. These dogs can be viewed on or by coming out to the refuge, either on Tuesday when we are open to the public or by appointment.

Freddie Lovelace, our refuge tour guide and adoption chief, mentioned that people have been asking about Whitney, our million dollar dog, who was so badly abused and went through two expensive surgeries. We are happy to report that Whitney believes that she was a jack rabbit in her previous life and is delighted to show off her jumping and leaping skills to anyone who cares to watch. Not only is she healthy, but she is full of energy.

Now that the peacock courtyard/meshed enclosure is complete, thanks to the hard work of Gene, Skip, Stephen and Ben, the peacocks are strutting their stuff. We actually have a year old male that is up for adoption.

Ginny Nyland, one of our wonderful office personnel who help out whenever she’s in town, gave us a generous donation this week. Ginny is leaving to go traveling again; in fact, she has her travel agenda complete until May 2010. Thank you for your generosity and have a great time on your travels.

We also want to thank, once again, the wonderful people who drop off donations to Paws and Claws. The thrift store has too many items to mention; some are vintage collector’s and others are everyday things that are essential to our lives. Stop by. Maybe you’ll find something that you can’t live without.

Please visit our beautiful desert-blooming refuge and our happy furry friends. Become a volunteer and have fun serving your community.

Humane Happenings

Vicky & "Bird of Paradise" tree in bloom
Photo by Charles Nissen

Things are blooming at Desert Haven. Not only the Bird of Paradise trees and many other bushes, but the creative work of our skilled work campers in building dog houses and play areas designed for the special needs of furry four-legged friends. Because of the progress that these artisans are making, one of the things on our wish list for this week is plywood pieces and rolled roofing. Please join us on Tuesdays when our facility is open to the public for tours and lunch at noon.

Our readers may not be aware of our Adopt-a-Pet Referral Program that is part of our Pet Finder Program featured on our website at Stan Brodsky heads up this program for us. If you have a pet that you need to have adopted, call Stan at 895-5551 and give him all the information and your phone number. He will put it on Pet Finder, and those interested can contact you directly. Anyone adopting your pet is eligible for a spay/neuter rebate. These pets are also included in the Humane Happenings. For instance, this week we have eight long and short hair kitties, mostly black and white, approximately two months old. Call Patty at 894-7371. We also have five week old kittens, three gray, one calico, and one orange tabby. Call 894-1852. When you are adopting out your pets, you should be careful that they don’t get into the wrong hands, for instance, someone interested in training dogs to fight.

It never ceases to amaze us at how generous our donors are. This past week we have received several anonymous donations. One was a check to purchase a freezer for Dog Town or whatever else we needed and the other decorative wood animal creations that will be sold at Paws and Claws.

We owe a big “thank you” to one of our local volunteers Joe Pack Arnold who is in the process of researching the pricing of pins and buttons that will promote Desert Haven. If our readers have any information or sources for acquiring these items at a good price, please call Joe at 894-8772. If someone is interested in helping with the initial investment, your donation would be greatly appreciated.

Don’t forget to drop off your Bullock’s receipts at various locations around town and the Paws and Claws Thrift Store. Those receipts finance our spay/neuter program. We always need volunteers for animal care and working in the thrift store. If you are interested, please call 894-2778.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pepper's Story

Gene & Pepper (photo by Skip Higgins)

by Reba Wagner; DH Animal Care Coordinator

A caring couple found a dog trapped in a cactus patch in the Elephant Butte area on Saturday/Sunday, April 4/5 and brought her to Desert Haven. After rescuing her, they discovered that the poor dog was blind, deaf, and had a large tumor-like growth on her side and there was another smaller one on her stomach. Her long hair was matted and full of burrs and thorns. She had cactus thorns all around her bleeding mouth and she had very few teeth. She may have been so hungry that she tried to eat the cactus. After cutting her hair and removing the thorns, it was apparent to them that she was a Poodle mix, dark gray in color. We named her Pepper.

Pepper didn't bark, but made a very mournful cry that just would tear your heart out and brings tears to your eyes. I believe she cried for help until she lost her voice. We have no idea whether the dog wandered off from someone's home or whether someone just disposed of her by dumping her in the desert.

On May 31, 2009, Pepper crossed the Rainbow Bridge. She was such a sweet, gentle dog and fought so hard to survive, but her body could not handle the fight. Pepper's last days were filled with love and human touch.

After being found in Elephant Butte in April, Pepper never fully regained her health. Vet care, food, love and attention could not overcome the horrific damage done to her system. She is missed already, but she is not suffering.

Abandonment was a grave offense to this very loving and beautiful dog. She did not deserve this disrespect and treatment by human hands. Situations like this can be avoided if pet owners will exhibit some decent, moral responsibility for ownership of their pets. They are not something to be discarded on a whim. They are a lifetime commitment and should be treated as such.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Letter to the Editor from Our Work Campers

Fay in the kitchen

Ted , taking a little rest from fence building

Letter to the Editor:

We just returned home after spending the month of March as work campers at the Desert Haven Animal Rescue(DHAR). This was our fourth straight year of spending March at DHAR.

Each year we have met and worked with a great bunch of people, some new faces each year as work campers come and go, and some older faces of local people that have volunteered their time and energy year after year.

Also each year we see new improvements at the facilities. Not a small accomplishment when everything is done by volunteers.

The most gratifying thing that keeps us coming back each year, besides working with and getting to know fellow animal lovers, is the wonderful way the animals continue to be taken care of. Not only in terms of the good food, shelter and medical treatment, but the loving way they are treated, walked, petted, played with and talked to.

You are really fortunate to have a group of people who spend so much time and energy taking care of these animals and we would encourage you to visit and support this facility. They can't save all the abandoned and unwanted animals, but the ones that end up there are the truly lucky ones.

Ted and Fay Earley
Redvale, Colorado