Friday, July 31, 2009

Week of 7/26/09 Humane Happenings

This month’s Adoption Option Booth, manned by Reba Wagner and Marg Higgins together with their furry helpers Oreo and Shasta, was held this past Saturday in front of “Red Bone”, a gift & collectible shop located in Downtown TorC. When you visit Red Bone, please make it a point to thank Kevin for his kindness in letting The Sierra County Humane Society set-up booth under the shade of his shop’s overhang.

Reba is Desert Haven Animal Refuge Animal Care Coordinator and Marg is work-camping this Summer at DHAR with her husband Skip. Oreo and Shasta stole the show and helped recruit John Jamieson, newcomer to the area, who is already starting to involve himself at the no-kill domestic animal sanctuary. An Atta-boy is in order for John who signed up to bring the main dish for next Tuesday’s pot luck. Skip, a professional photographer by trade, took the beautiful photos of the feathered and furry DHAR residents that went into creating, among other projects, the adorable bookmarks displayed at the booth last Saturday. They are now available for sale at Paws & Claws thrift shop. You can also visit Skip’s web site at to admire some of his work.

Thanks to the generosity of Gene Wagner, Desert Haven’s caretaker, we now have the use of a small and very handy trailer to pick-up large items on Tuesdays, when we also have the manpower to do so. Contact us at 894-2778 for more information.

A word of caution: when you plan to donate some of your most interesting treasures, also furniture pieces and large items to our thrift shop, please consider dropping them off at the shop during business hours - from Wed through Saturday. This way they won’t be picked-up by unsavory individuals who feel no shame in stealing from volunteer non-profit organizations such as ours.

This week, our special thanks go to CJ Ellis of Caballo Lake RV Park. CJ stopped at DHAR last Tuesday, with items for Paws & Claws thrift shop, but also with her arms full of ice-cold soft drinks to distribute to the crew. CJ has been a staunch supporter of our efforts over the years. Her thoughtfulness in bringing the volunteer crew enough soft drinks for everyone on a hot day like Tuesday was a very special gesture that each and every member of the crew appreciated.

If interested in joining our cause, networking for us or helping in some other way, call us at 894-2778 or visit Paws & Claws thrift shop and connect with Eliana on Fridays. You can also visit us at or at

Saving just one pet won't change the world

but, surely, the world will change for that one pet .

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Week of 7/19/09 Humane Happenings

Marge & Reba

Saturday July 25, between 10 AM and 2 PM, several Desert Haven Animal Refuge volunteers set up an Adoption Option booth in front of “Red Bone”, an animal-friendly business located downtown TorC. This is the first DHAR Adoption booth in several months, and animal loving folks who were shopping downtown TorC on that day visited our booth which was fun and interesting. They also had the opportunity to check out our literature and last but not least, to pet the several pups that “helped” keep the booth lively and full of surprises. We have wonderful little girl and boy-dogs at this time, and anyone interested in a cuddly lap dog should consider checking them out at Desert Haven.

Orio and Shasta

If you can’t visit Sierra County’s No-Kill domestic animal sanctuary on a Tuesday, the day it is open to the public, contact us at 894-2778 for an appointment. If you wish, you can also be taken on a tour of the facility as well. If you like cats, The Cool Cat Neighborhood will catch your imagination. Several years ago, it impressed visitors from Florida enough that they named it “the feline equivalent to a 5 star gated community”. There is also Birdland & Animal House, home to a large flock of white and ring-neck doves, several rabbits and many guinea pigs. Adjacent to Birdland, Birdland-2 houses a number of miniature roosters and hens. A few weeks ago, the Desert Haven peacock population moved from their former home in Birdland to their new, recently completed “Peacock’s Place”, an all-enclosed, 1600 square ft area with peacocks-approved amenities.

Bullocks receipts earn $$$ for The Sierra County Humane Society and Desert Haven Animal Refuge. The receipts are being collected until the end of this month, when the program ends for the summer to resume the first of September. They can be dropped-off at the TorC Public Library, Williamsburg Post Office and Paws & Claws thrift shop in TorC. Please bring your Bullocks receipts to us before the first week in August, or they will no longer be redeemable and of no value to anyone.

This week, we wish to thank Ray & Kay Steinline of TorC for their generous contribution to Desert Haven, also “Lady Bug Pest Control” for dropping-off pet food donated by Sean Hoyt of Champagne Hills. A very special thank-you goes to long-time supporter Gretchen Tatsch of Las Cruces for her on-going support through monetary and in-kind contributions as well as kind words she continues to have for DHAR and all of its volunteers.

We do have a great crew of volunteers in our organization. Our work campers come from all over the country to help us operate the sanctuary on a daily basis. Several local folks also help with the daily animal care from one to three days each week. We sincerely could not do without them at this time of the year. We certainly can use more dog walkers and kitty cuddlers during morning and evening animal care, at least until our winter work camping crew arrives in the fall. Paws & Claws thrift shop needs helpers. If interested, call us at 894-2778. Our animal loving readers can learn more about us by visiting
Saving a life is a beautiful thing - sponsor a Desert Haven companion animal today.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Week of 7/15/09 Humane Happenings

Desert Haven Animal Refuge is home to abandoned, neglected, mistreated and unwanted companion animals who, safe and wanted at last, finally find their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. So is the story of Sprinkle, one of the six remaining puppies born in early March to Scruffy, a small and very loving terrier-mix rescued at DHAR while very much pregnant. See the photo on our masthead above taken by Skip Higgins.

Sprinkle was adopted Tuesday evening by a young family who came all the way from Los Alamos, NM, to visit DHAR with the intent to adopt, for their very young daughter, “a black puppy with white markings” that reminded the mom of her own companion animal from years back – a black puppy with white markings given to her by her own parents when she was her little girl’s age.

Since six black puppies with white markings were still available for adoption at DHAR, the choice was there and obviously worth the long trip for that family. Adoptions like this one have become more and more the norm at the sanctuary, thanks to the common efforts of a friendly and cohesive volunteer crew.

Meet the crew: Stan of Hillsboro routinely updates the DHAR list of animals on the Petfinder web site. It can be reached by clicking on, as well as on, which is maintained by Camille of Florida. Freddie and Reba, who both reside on the premises, handle all dog and cat adoptions. Their responsibilities involve keeping veterinary visits and medical attention up-to-date. They also do home visits prior and after adoptions whenever feasible. While Freddie handles DHAR visits for adoption purposes, either on Tuesdays when the sanctuary is open for visitors, or by calling her at 575-894-2778 for an appointment, Eliana and Reba keep-up with all e-mail correspondence related to adoptions. All intakes of unwanted animals and birds are handled by Freddie and Reba, who take into consideration the sanctuary resources, such as availability of space and volunteers at that specific time. Day after day, the entire DHAR crew, together with several local volunteers, keeps the non-human residents in good physical and mental condition and their living quarters clean and attractive. Thank-you all!

This week, we call on our computer oriented friends in the Sierra County Humane Society and DHAR, to support us as they interact with other animal loving friends on Facebook. If you are not already a member of Facebook, it is free and anyone can join at for a wonderful tool for networking with family and friends. We have two pages on Facebook. The “Sierra County Humane Society” has a “Group” page and can be found by doing a search in the box of the upper right hand corner of your main Facebook page. The SCHS group page has a wall where you can post about your experiences with us or start discussions about relevant topics. We would love to hear your adoption story and see photos of your pet in his or her new home. Are you a volunteer? Share your story about why you work with us or tell something funny or touching that happened at Desert Haven or Paws & Claws.

If you are able to support us financially, we also have a “Causes” page for Desert Haven Animal Refuge. You can donate on line through the non-profit organization, Network for Good, which process credit cards for us. You may join the cause without making a donation but still express your support for our work. There is also a tool to send invitations to your friends and families to join our cause and help us spread the word about Desert Haven in order to help save the lives of more homeless pets. If you have any questions or are unable to find our Facebook pages, please write to our web master, Camille Pronovost, at or

Week of 7/5/09 Humane Happenings

Brad, after hanging the sign made by Bootz

“Hot” is the key word at this time of the year in this part of New Mexico, and “humid” is also very much on everyone’s mind as well. The Dog Days of Summer are here, and our DHAR dogs are certainly enjoying them to the fullest. DHAR is still home to the six remaining puppies from Scruff’s litter. On March 7 of this year, Scruffy, a 18-20 lbs terrier mix with long, mostly back hair, gave birth soon after her rescue at DHAR to seven healthy puppies who are looking more and more like their mother.. Until they find their forever adoptive family, Peppey, Orio, Sampson (Sammy for short), Sprinkle, Chrissy, Zorro and Trixie are very content to spend their daylight hours exploring their special gated domain at Dog Town.

The Pooch Play Yard has a lot of amenities. There is an adjacent indoor dormitory with private fluffy beds and condos, available to the puppies all day long. There is also The Puppy Club House, a brightly painted two-story wooden structure built in the middle of the play-yard with energetic and inquisitive puppies in mind. The Puppy Play Yard is one of the most exciting places to be when you are a puppy at Desert Haven.

Hardy, a tiny, cute-as-a-button long-haired Chihuahua, shares the puppy housing with the six siblings and there is nothing more enjoyable for the volunteers who help with animal care on any given day, than to watch puppies at play. Whitney, who lives with her foster mom at DHAR campground, joins the playful group every Tuesday. Whitney is DHAR “Million Dollar Dog”, a name she received soon after undergoing two life-saving – and expensive – operations to repair some of the internal damage she sustained before being rescued at the sanctuary. If you are interested in adopting a companion animal, even a puppy or a small dog, visit DHAR on Tuesday or call us at 894-2778 for an appointment. We certainly have plenty for you to choose from.

The volunteers at DHAR are very appreciative of our readers who make it a point to help with our wish list. Large or small, cash or in-kind, any contribution is put to good use and goes for the intended purpose. This week, Desert Haven especially needs canned cat food, cat treats and dog biscuits.. Paws & Claws thrift shop needs helpers.
To keep-up with repairs, maintenance and also upgrade of the facility, we continue to need wood to work with- also a roll of welded wire fencing - a miter saw - a router with bits - a portable table saw - air nails and an air staple gun - drill bits - power or battery operated hand tools.

To learn more about Paws & Claws, The Sierra County Humane Society, or Desert Haven Animal Refuge which we operate under its umbrella, contact us at 894-2778 or 740-0643. You can also visit our very informative web site at Until next time, we wish all our readers a purrr-fect week.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Week of 6/28/09 Humane Happenings

Juicy & Rufus

by Eliana Aubin

It is that time of the year, when the Cash for Clubs program is about to end for the summer, to start again in September. The program was generously initiated some years ago by Bullocks Grocery store (Shur-Sav) in T or C, to help non-profit groups benefit financially from the folks who patronize the store and at the same time who wish to help their favorite charity benefit from it. Animal loving folks can save their Bullocks receipts and collect those from friends and relatives, then drop them off either at Paws&Claws thrift shop, the T or C public library, Desert Haven Animal Refuge, or at the Williamsburg Post office. Josephine Varnum handles the program and has set up in those locations boxes specifically designated for that purpose. When redeemed ($1 for every $1,000 redeemed goes directly to our organization.) the $$$ generated from the receipts help fund the Sierra County Humane Society Spay-Neuter program which has an average annual price tag of$8,000 and continues to grow every year.

Our organization’s Adopt-a-Pet Referral program is successfully handled by Stan Brodsky, a Sierra County Humane Society volunteer who lives near Hillsboro. Folks who wish to give up a companion animal but who are reluctant to relinquish that animal to the city shelter have the opportunity to contact Stan at 575-895-5551 (a local call by the way) who will help them find that animal a new home. Stan keeps a current record of all domestic animals referred to us through that specific program. He also places them and their profile – including photos if available - on the SCHS Petfinder web site, which is visited daily by folks from all over New Mexico and neighboring states.

On the other hand, anyone interested in adopting a companion animal directly from his owner can also contact Stan and look for any specific type, breed, etc, available at the time. The Adopt-a-Pet Referral program is provided courtesy of the Sierra County Humane Society, inc. and is free of charge to anyone interested in giving up or adopting a companion animal.

This week’s wish list: Dog biscuits - kitty canned food and treats - Puppy chow for seven growing puppies - Dog walkers and kitty cuddlers at DHAR- Volunteers at Paws & Claws thrift shop – Used lumber – Insulation - Roofing material, etc.
Interested in the work we are doing? Visit us on Tuesdays, or check us out at
This blog at is updated weekly by our wonderful webmaster and animal loving volunteer Camille Pronovost of Florida, with current photos of Desert Haven and of our volunteers at work. We can also be reached at 894-2778, or email eliana4pets@gmail. com.