Monday, October 26, 2009

Week of 10/25/09 Humane Happenings

by Dolly Loftus

Reba (center), DH Animal Care Coordinator, supervises the guinea pig bathing/medical check round-up

It’s that time of year when Sunday drives in the country seem in order. This past Sunday found us traveling to Chloride, a picturesque retirement community a few miles from Winston. Dona Edmonds of Chloride gave a wonderful tour of all things interesting to the Desert Haven Work Camp Coordinator and one of the Desert Haven work campers from Buffalo, New York. Ms. Edmonds always treats our work campers special, and Sunday was no exception. We toured the saloon which has been turned into an art co-op for thirty-some talented local residents. The general store, which is now the museum, brought back many memories for the visitors. We got a glimpse of the first house in Chloride; it has been completely restored by Don Edmonds and is now a two bedroom guest house available to tourists. There is even a back porch to sit on and wait for the deer to come and feed. Finally, we got to see the restored bank building which may eventually house a restaurant. Everything was a Kodak moment, even though it was trying to rain. Don and Dona Edmonds are frequent contributors to the Sierra County Humane Society, Desert Haven Animal Refuge and Paws & Claws Thrift Store.

Tuesday is the best day to come out to Desert Haven and check out our new additions. Reba Wagner and Freddie Loveless do an admirable job of keeping track of the comings and goings of our four-legged residents that have boundless energy. One recent addition is a red four-year-old min-pin named Sally, who is a little bit shy. She came to us from the local shelter, because her owners moved and didn’t want to take her with them. Initially, she was very scared, but now with the love and attention she is receiving from all the volunteers, she has come out of her shell and blossomed into a sweet little dog that yearns for a gentle hug and a lap to sit in. She is just one of the many dogs and cats that you are welcome to get to know.

Tuesday is also the day that we do office work, and once again, we are asking for volunteers to do filing, note-writing, and computer work. There are no special skills involved except patience and a willingness to help and to learn. If you are interested, please call Dolly at 575-740-0715.

We also need volunteers at Desert Haven to help with the animals and at Paws and Claws to sort and tag all of our wonderful donations. For more information on the Sierra County Humane Society, Desert Haven and also Paws & Claws thrift shop, contact us at 575- 894-2778, visit DHAR on Tuesday, or check us out at or at

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Week of 10/18/09 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Joe Pack

This week, The Sierra County Humane Society and Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s No-Kill domestic animal sanctuary, wish to acknowledge William Holland of Elephant Butte for becoming the organization’s newest Life Member.

Our appreciation also goes to all the animal loving folks who responded so positively to our latest newsletter. We are very grateful for the show of confidence that we received from many caring folks, either local and from out-of state, as some of them started new memberships while others renewed theirs, or just donated to our animal welfare cause.

Desert Haven was very busy again this week. Several out-on-their-luck dogs were taken in. Two small, young females Manchester terrier mix, a frightened little girl-dog named “Ruffles”, because of the Mohawk style patch of fur on her shoulder blades, and outgoing and loving little “Annie Oakley”. Their pet-parent passed away and these little balls of fur are adapting to drastic changes in their short lives. We also have “Ash”, a young, medium sized, gentle Setter mix who came to us very emaciated and with a large deep and also very infected gash on one of his hind legs, seemingly made by a sharp tool. Here at Desert Haven, we were surprised that Ash kept his gentleness and his trust of people after the ordeal he obviously went through before being rescued at the sanctuary.

This week’s wish list:

Dog Food, canned and dry, is once again the high priority item at Desert Haven. Twenty-six healthy and active dogs eat a lot every day. We appreciate every bag and every can, either large or small, of dog food (no rawhide please) that is dropped-off at Paws & Claws or at Desert Haven. Interested in connecting with companion animals without the responsibility of owning one? Become a dog walker and join our crew one morning or two each week. Not only it’s good exercise, but it also allows you to enjoy the company of the canines of your choice (remember, we have 26 dogs of all sizes to choose from) as you walk on a leash some of the smallest dogs or you take the larger ones to the Old West Trail and let them play in small groups.

If you prefer to spend quality time with the kitties, we have thirty who love the extra attention every morning. Morning care starts at 8 AM and last two hours or so. If you are not a morning person, how does five o’clock in the evening sound to you? If interested, contact Desert Haven Animal Care Coordinator Reba at 423-343-6530, or Freddie at 894-2778.

We also need someone to help in the office for a couple of hours on Tuesday mornings. Our office is very busy every Tuesday morning and an extra helper or two is always a plus. For more information, contact Dolly at 740-0715.

For more information on the Sierra County Humane Society, Desert Haven and also Paws & Claws thrift shop, contact us at 575- 894-2778, visit DHAR on Tuesday, or check us out at or at

Eliana Aubin

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Week of 10/11/09 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Luke after amputation

Life is never boring at Desert Haven, Sierra County’s No-Kill domestic animal sanctuary. In the past several weeks, Dog Town has become a very busy place. Fourteen medium to large canines and twelve small furballs of all temperaments are enjoying life in a safe and loving environment, in groups of similar size and temperament. Here are the most recent arrivals: Sparky is a very loving four years old Pekinese who recently lost his beloved pet-parent. There is also Angel, a 3 years old blue heeler who loves to please. Zig is an 8 lbs two years old Manchester terrier with the manners of a perfect little gentleman.

And there is also little Sally. It’s very sad what happens to dogs when they are abandoned by their owners, and some dogs are more affected than others. Sally is a vivid example. She is a two-year old miniature pincher mix, recently relinquished at the city shelter. This sudden and difficult change in her life became very traumatic for her and she became fearful of everyone, acting like a little “tough guy” to protect herself. This was making adoption less and less an option for this otherwise sweet little girl-dog. As soon as her plight was discovered, Desert Haven took her in. With love and attention from the DHAR volunteers, Sally is slowly becoming herself again – a playful little girl-dog with a lot of love to give. This is what Desert Haven is about – giving companion animals out-on-their-luck a new chance at the life they deserve.

Good news on little Whitney, Desert Haven’s “Million Dollar Dog”. Whitney is now making up for lost time when she came to the sanctuary as a very sick puppy with no chance of survival, unless she underwent a difficult – and costly - surgery to repair a ruptured diaphragm. Two successful surgeries later, Whitney is now fully recovered and available for adoption into a very special home.

Remember Luke? This kitty was recently relinquished to DHAR with a grossly distorted and lifeless back leg. Soon after Luke’s arrival at the sanctuary, the DHAR staff decided that amputation was necessary, to help give him a normal life. The surgery went well and he is fully recovered now. Luke loves his new life a at The Cool Cat Neighborhood as DHAR’s three-legged kitty.

This week’s wish list: DHAR’s high priority item on the list is dog food – dry and canned. Twenty six dogs eat a lot every day and we sincerely hope that our animal loving friends will help us take care of this important expense. We also need a good used chest freezer.

For more information on the Sierra County Humane Society, Desert Haven and also Paws & Claws thrift shop, contact us at 575-894-2778, visit DHAR on Tuesday, or check us out at, or at

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Week of 9/27/09 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Sophie with her new owner

The property that is now Desert Haven Animal Refuge was purchased by the Sierra County Humane Society in May 1999. In 2001, while the sanctuary was being built, one project at a time, the first residents arrived – a large number of domesticated ring-neck doves relinquished by an older gentleman who cared enough about them to give them up when he realized he could no longer take proper care of them in his backyard aviary. The sanctuary volunteers built a temporary aviary for the doves. These first residents were soon followed by a family of guinea pigs, taken in the early part of 2003. From then on, and as the sanctuary continued to be built, several orphaned baby rabbits who had outlived their usefulness as Easter Bunnies were accepted at the facility and they became the guinea pigs roommates. An abandoned pregnant kitty arrived soon afterwards, followed by Lucky, a young pup found by a traveler, as he was wandering on a highway between T or C and Elephant Butte some Saturday morning. Lucky became DHAR’s very first canine resident, until he passed away from an aggressive for of lymphoma at the sanctuary in 2007.

Nine years have passed since the SCHS Board of Directors signed-off on the purchase of the Desert Haven property. The sanctuary is now completed. Built out of donated barn wood, it has an Old West charm of its own that many visitors find attractive. Desert Haven is an inspiring and a very peaceful place for humans and non-humans alike – a homelike environment for unwanted feathered and furry creatures who find a haven there until they are adopted into a loving home or to the end of their natural life.

It takes many volunteers to keep a facility like Desert Haven open and also thriving. At this time, we especially need dog walkers and folks to help care for the kitties during animal care, which starts every day at 8 AM and also at 5:30 PM. Contact Reba at 423-243-6530, or Freddie at 894-2778.

We need help at Paws & Claws thrift shop, operated by our animal welfare Society. Contact Eliana at 894-2639. We also need office help every Tuesday morning. Dolly Loftus, Freddie Loveless and Joy Arnold are part of the office crew. They would be thrilled to train someone interested enough to give a couple of hours each Tuesday morning, when they are all in the office. For more information, contact Dolly at 740-0715.

This week’s wish list: dry and canned dog and cat food, dog and cat treats. Metal trash containers, chest freezer.

Visit DHAR on Tuesday, or check us out at or at

“ Be the change in the world you want to see”