Saturday, November 21, 2009

Week of 11/15/09 Humane Happenings

Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe - photo by Charles Nissen

This past Tuesday, after the volunteer crew had finished caring for the furry and feathered residents of Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s No-Kill domestic animal sanctuary, everyone congregated at Paws & Claws thrift shop. While a crew sorted through the bags and boxes of recyclable items that are dropped-off at the shop on a daily basis, another concentrated on getting out of storage all the Christmas items donated throughout the year. We will soon have a fabulous display of new and old Christmas things, some of them very old indeed, many of them one-of-a-kind. When you visit the shop on a Friday, consider checking out “Stephen’s Electronics Unlimited”, Stephen Wagner’s “special project”. Stephen took it over some Fridays ago and he has completely revamped it. What a transformation! Everyone acquainted with the shop has commented very positively on it. Good work, Stephen!

This very pleasant, well mannered and hard-working young man arrived to DHAR last year with his parents, Reba and Gene. Planning on a temporary stay at the sanctuary, the family enjoyed life at the sanctuary enough to instead make DHAR and Sierra County their home, with the blessings of the DHAR management. Reba Wagner is DHAR Animal Care Coordinator and also an integral part of the Adoption Team. Since former Work Camper Coordinator Dolly Loftus decided to leave her volunteer activities at the sanctuary behind to start traveling in her newly acquired RV, Reba now coordinates the work camping program, together with Eliana Aubin. Reba’s husband, Gene, is DHAR caretaker. Among other projects, he handles routine repairs and maintenance throughout the property. Thanks to his efforts and good planning, the water pipes did not freeze when temperatures plummeted the past few nights.

Two small dogs are available for adoption through our adopt-a-pet referral program: Baxter is 20 lb, black, 3 years old neutered male. His buddy Sammy is a black, one and a half years old neutered male. Both are housebroken, loving, and they know basic commands. Call 744-4198 or 740-1898.

We need help in the DHAR office on Tuesdays, either morning or early afternoon - for light paperwork, including filing and writing thank-you notes. Some computers skills are a plus but not necessary. If you enjoy working with numbers, we have another volunteer slot for you – also for about two hours every Tuesdays. Surely some local animal loving individual will hear our plight for help and answer the call. A strong office staff is important in any organization, and ours is no exception. Call Freddie at 894-2778.

We continue to need canned dog and cat food, metal trash containers, good used chest freezer, also dog walkers and kitty cuddlers at Desert Haven. Animal care starts at 8 AM and again at 4 PM. Contact Reba at 423-243-6530, or Freddie at 894-2778.

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

“The question is not, 'Can they reason?' Nor, 'Can they talk?' But, 'Can they suffer?'”

Friday, November 6, 2009

Week of 11/1/08 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

A sincere thank-you goes to Linda Christopherson this week, for her very generous donation to the Sierra County Humane Society of an absolutely gorgeous queen size quilt that she made by hand and for which she received First Price at the Sierra County Fair in 2008. The money to be generated by the sale of this very beautiful quilt will benefit Desert Haven Animal Refuge and its feathered and furry residents. Linda has been good to our organization through the years and we appreciate her on-going support. We are also very grateful to an anonymous couple who drove to Desert Haven this past Tuesday and donated dog bed, blankets, and dog food for our little ones at Dog Town.

Because of the generosity of the Moose Lodge who some years ago donated a sizeable number of insulated pre-fab dog houses for every indoor-outdoor kennel at the Inn at Dog Town, also because of the thoughtfulness of local and out-of-state folks, together with the creativity of an always resourceful DHAR crew, all our thirty-one Desert Haven canines have their very own comfy “pad” to call their own. We are now ready for the cold winter nights when each one of them will need lots of warm bedding. Also in Winter, we feed our canines twice a day – a mixture of dry and canned dog food. Canned dog food ( and cat food of course) is always on our wish list, especially as we enter the colder months.

This past few Tuesdays, several local and out-of town visitors were treated by DHAR seasoned Tour Guide Freddie Loveless to a walking tour of Desert Haven. The comments made by them during and after the tours were extremely positive. What impressed them most, they said, was the spiritual quality and the overall feeling of Peace felt as they walked throughout the property. They commented on the kindness of the crew towards the non-human residents, also on the cleanliness of the grounds and various habitats. They also mentioned the Old West charm of the entire sanctuary. We wish to thank Chet, one of the visitors who wishes to stay anonymous, for his generous donations to DHAR.

Contrary to comments made by uninformed folks, The Sierra County Humane Society and even Desert Haven Animal Refuge receive NO government support, local or otherwise. Our humane society, just as all animal welfare organizations in the entire nation, stands totally on its own. Its only connections with larger and national animal welfare organizations such as the Humane Society of the US or the ASPCA is through the yearly membership fees that our organization sends to them as a goodwill gesture towards all animal in need. Also contrary to popular belief, the local humane society - a non-profit 501-C-3 all-volunteer animal welfare organization, is not part of local businesses Hot Springs Animal Clinic or Sierra Animal Shelter. For more information on the SCHS, DHAR and also Paws & Claws thrift shop, contact us at 575- 894-2778 or 423-243-6530, visit DHAR on Tuesday, or check us out at and at