Friday, December 31, 2010

Week of 12/26/10 Humane Happenings

By Eliana Aubin

Gate to Desert Haven Animal Refuge
This year again, Santa remembered Desert Haven Animal Refuge and all its furry and feathered residents. Throughout the past couple of weeks, his helpers dropped off at the sanctuary and at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe in T or C several car loads of dog and cat food, including several cases of canned food which is very needed at this time of the year. Large or small, every contribution towards feeding all the little rescues in our care is greatly appreciated and very much needed. A few days ago, someone who wishes to stay anonymous unloaded at DHAR a full carload of dog and cat food, most especially canned food, together with dog treats, plastic storage containers, doggie sweaters for our smallest fur-guys and girls, and also some small toys for dogs and cats. All of it, we were told, was in recognition of Blue, the community dog of Elephant Butte. What a nice gesture! Also it could not have arrived at a better time, with the winter now here and Desert Haven’s cupboards always needing replenishing.

The year 2010 is about to end and we believe there could be no better time to let our readers know how much we have appreciated their support throughout the entire year. Without the generosity of caring folks who want to help us help the unwanted companion animals of Sierra County, our volunteers would not be financially able to care for over two hundred (200) furry and feathered creatures for whom the no-kill sanctuary is home year’ round. A huge thank-you is especially in order for the local media. The Sierra County Humane Society articles come out in the local newspaper every week as a Public Service Announcement. At this time of the year, our volunteer organization wishes to express its sincere gratitude for the on-going support from the local media, together with businesses and animal loving friends from all over.

This week’s wish list: two heavy duty filing cabinets for the DHAR office – someone with a scroll saw and able to work from home, to cut out many dog and cat silhouettes out of plywood. We also need dog and cat food, catnip, large storage containers, carpet remnants to be used either for rugs inside the dogs’ indoor-outdoor kennels or on the trails to help out with weed control. We also need volunteer help at DHAR and Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe. If you would like to help in some way, contact us at 575-894-2778, 740-4100 or 894-1694. Write us at POB 638 Williamsburg, NM 87942. Visit us at Meet us at www.Facebook/com/deserthaven. Desert Haven is open to the public every Tuesday.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Week of 12/20/10 Humane Happenings

By Eliana Aubin

Mosey at Desert Haven
Why on Earth do folks have Pit Bull dogs without getting them sterilized? Unwanted Pit Bull and Pit Mix are hard to place. The animal shelters all over New Mexico routinely euthanize them immediately after they are relinquished mostly because Pit Bulls are a special breed that needs a specific environment to thrive as companion animals. Consequently, a good home for a Pit Bull is hard to find. Also too many Pit Bulls and Pit Mix are being bred, making it difficult to find enough of the right type of folks wanting to adopt that specific breed.

More and more, the Sierra County Humane Society is receiving call after call from local folks who either want to give-up an unwanted Pit Bull, or they have had a bad encounter involving a Pit Bull. Some folks also call to find out how to adopt a Pit Bull - we suspect for the wrong reasons. Some local folks acquire a Pit Bull to make a profit from the sale of the pups that are born when they breed the animal. Sierra County is overrun by Pit Bull and Pit Mix pups.

Have you ever wondered why there is such a great demand for Pit Bulls locally? Also to whom are Pit Bull pups routinely sold? After all, this is still Dog Fighting Country. Even though New Mexico has now joined the rest of the states in finally making the sport of Dog Fighting illegal, some low-life unscrupulous folks still breed and use Pit Bulls for that purpose, right here under their neighbors noses. “Free to good homes” Pit Bulls and Pit Mix usually end-up in the wrong hands. Trained to fight or used as “bait” in dog fights, their short life ends in miserable agony. Shame on those who breed them indiscriminately! Fighting dogs or roosters is against the law in New Mexico. Consequently, the sport, as cruel and degraded as it is, has now gone undergrounds.

Do you know of some illegal activities involving Pit Bulls? If so, quietly gather as much information as possible and then contact the appropriate law enforcement agency - The TCPD or the Sheriff’s Department. Of course you can stay anonymous if you wish. A few days ago, we were re-assured by the County Sheriff’s Office that investigations will be conducted for each call regarding possibly illegal activities involving Pit Bulls. If you know of some activity involving Pit Bulls or Pit-Mix that you believe may be illegal, please bring it to light by going through the proper channels.

Should you prefer to connect with our organization instead, we can be contacted at 575-894-1694 or 894-2639. Please realize that all that we can do is to call the appropriate law enforcement agency ourselves with the information you will have given us. In the process, the information we give the law enforcement agency will have become second-hand information. Let’s team up to clean Sierra County of the unsavory elements of Society that fight Pit Bulls for sport and money, right here in and around our Sierra County communities.

This week’s wish list: canned dog and cat food – dry cat food - catnip – large storage containers – carpet remnants - volunteer help at DHAR and Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe. Visit the sanctuary on Tuesday. Contact us at 575-894-2778 and 740-4100. Write us at POB 638 Williamsburg, NM 87942. Visit us at Meet us at www.Facebook/com/deserthaven.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Week of 12/12/10 Humane Happenings

By Eliana Aubin

Last Saturday, the Desert Haven Animal Refuge volunteers participated in the Luminaria Beach Walk at Elephant Butte Lake. Our Old West style booth attracted a large number of visitors and many of them made a point to get some information about Desert Haven Animal Refuge and the Sierra County Humane Society, the booth’s host organization.

While enjoying the warmth of the huge bonfire and connecting with all the Desert Haven volunteers and work campers who were helping man the DHAR booth, folks could taste some of Reba Wagner’s special hot cider and Mattie Gano’s scrumptious fudge cookies. Missy and Duchess who reside at Dog town at the sanctuary were also enjoying the atmosphere. They were having a great time with all the attention they attracted. Denny Gano had brought his guitar along and he gave a wonderful musical concert throughout the evening. Mother Nature provided great weather for the evening event. It was a huge plus to help make this year’s Luminaria Walk the best ever so far. Everyone who took photos, please consider e-mailing them to us at We will put them on our blog and on Facebook and credit you with taking them.

We recently handled several adoptions. While a couple of our little rescues were adopted locally, two moved together into their forever home in Silver City and another went to Roswell. Extra good news: Mosey is being adopted. Mosey is a large mixed breed dog that we adopted out three years ago from Sierra Animal Shelter in TorC. That morning, two DHAR volunteers – Ron and Eliana - visited the city shelter to adopt and rescue a couple of dogs as planned. Mosey was there too, but not in the adoption section of the building. She was in another section of the building as she was to be euthanized that same morning, we were told. She had been found a couple of days before, wandering the streets in some T or C neighborhood. She was so skinny that she looked like the skeleton of a dog covered with skin. She has scars all over - some old, some new – probably from having been in several fights along the way. Still, there was something about her that caught the volunteers’ eyes and melted their hearts. Her eyes were warm and pleading as she looked at them intensely when they walked past her kennel. We knew then that we simply needed to make room for her at Desert Haven. We saved Mosey that morning - this was 3 years ago. This week, Mosey is being adopted. What a wonderful feeling for those of us who have cared for her all this time. Mosey is living proof that here at Desert Haven, we make a huge difference in the life of each and every companion animal that we can save.

Mosey and Pat at Desert Haven

Interested in helping out? We need canned dog and cat food –large storage containers. We also need dog walkers and kitty cuddlers at Desert Haven and help in the office. Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe needs helpers as well. For more information, contact us at 575-894-2778 or 740-4100. Visit us at Write to us at POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942. Meet us at

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Week of 12/5/10 Humane Happenings

By Eliana Aubin

Each year, over one hundred thousand dogs and cats enter animal shelters in New Mexico alone. Of those, over sixty thousand are euthanized, because nobody wants them. It does not have to be this way. We all know that spaying and neutering is the solution to this tragic - and costly - problem. Making low-cost surgeries widely available must be a priority if we are ever going to end dog and cat overpopulation.

The Sierra County Humane Society is doing its part to help curb dog and cat overpopulation. For over 20 years now, the SCHS offers Spay-Neuter rebates to local folks who need some financial help to have a companion animal sterilized. Spay-Neuter forms are available from the TorC Police station and also at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe in T or C. We also fund the SCHS Spay-a-Stray program, which covers sterilization costs of feral and stray cats in Sierra County. Call us at 575-894-2778.

According to Animal Protection of New Mexico located in Albuquerque (call 505-265-2322 or fax 5505-265-2488), “Pet Care plates” are now available to animal loving folks who wish to be part of the solution to dog and cat overpopulation in our state. $25 of each $37 spay-neuter license plate sold will go to spaying and neutering programs in the purchaser’s county. Enhanced programs at the local levels will reduce the number of animals euthanized each year. Fewer cats and dogs will ease the growing financial burdens on animal control and public safety departments like ours here in Sierra County. The Spay-Neuter license plates must be ordered from the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department. Order forms are available at any MDV office, or at
The “Pet Care Plates” have been in the making for at least a couple of years. Now that the process is in place, Animal Protection of New Mexico is asking animal welfare organizations all over New Mexico to drive home the message. For more information, visit or contact

Thinking of donating to an animal welfare organization this Holiday season? Please consider including your local animal welfare organization in your generosity. Any donation, large or small, is very much needed to help YOUR humane Society achieve its goals. So many Sierra County companion animals out-on-their-luck need your help! Desert Haven Animal Refuge is the only no-kill domestic animal sanctuary in this area. It operates under the umbrella of the SCHS. Contrary to popular belief and just like other humane societies and animal welfare agency anywhere in the US, our local Humane Society receives absolutely no funding from the Humane Society of the US, ASPCA or any other large and powerful national organization involved with animal protection. The Sierra County Humane Society and Desert Haven receive absolutely no funding through taxes, local or otherwise, and every penny that is spent to help companion animals in need is earned through fundraising activities and donations.

Interested in helping out? We need canned dog and cat food – carpet remnants - large storage containers – plywood & building material – fencing material. We also need dog walkers and kitty cuddlers at Desert Haven and help in the office. Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe needs helpers as well. For more information, contact us at 575-894-2778 or 740-4100. Visit us at Write to us at POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942. Meet us at

Monday, November 29, 2010

Week of 11/28/10 Humane Happenings

By Eliana Aubin

Old West Placita
This week, Desert Haven welcomed the arrival of Penny, a Pomeranian Pug mix relinquished by her human companion who could no longer care for her because of failing health. The tiny, cute-as-a-button, well-mannered four-year old girl-dog is now waiting to melt somebody’s heart and move into her very own loving home.

This week’s special thanks go to: Herman & Sugar Armijo of Albuquerque, who contribute to our organization every time they visit the area - Mary Roden of T or C who insures that the cupboards of Dog Town & The Cool Cat Neighborhood are never empty for too long - Mary Ann Nolan who recently dropped-off at DHAR much needed dog and cat food and also some treats – Jerry & Paul McCauley who delivered to the sanctuary many cans of dog and cat food last Tuesday. When told that they must have sensed that we badly needed the canned food, Paul answered with a smile “We read your column”.

Jason Gransbury of Palomas Canyon recently visited the sanctuary. As he walked through Desert Haven’s “Old West Placita” and around the animals and birds habitats, he gave us a very nice compliment:”You have built this whole place to look like an Old West town – it looks really neat!” A visitor from Kansas shopped at Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe last Friday. She told our volunteers on duty that she had landed in Albuquerque a couple of days before and as she was picking-up a car at budget Rent-a-Car to visit a family member living in TorC, the clerk at the desk had told her:” While you are there, one place you don’t want to miss is Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe in TorC. It’s a very interesting store and you can’t beat their prices. And it’s all for a good cause.” Our Kansas visitor added:” I came and I was not disappointed!” Such a nice compliment for all the dedicated volunteers who work well together to make it all happen at P&C!

This week’s wish list: bird & sunflower seeds - canned dog and cat food – catnip - large storage containers with or without lids, also plywood & construction material - tarps or canvas material to protect waiting-to-be-sorted donations inside the P&C Thrift Shoppe yard - carpet remnants to be used either as area rugs at Dog Town or to keep the weeds down on several new dog walking trails that our crew is clearing around the sanctuary.

Acquainted with the computer program XL? Do you enjoy working with numbers? We need your skills and two hours of your time in the Desert Haven office every Tuesday morning. We also need someone to help for an hour or two with routine office work on Tuesdays. Call us at 575-894-2778. Interested in visiting Desert Haven? It is open to the public every Tuesday. Thinking of adopting? Visit our web site and Petfinder page at or contact us at 575-740-4100. Write us at POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942. Meet us on Facebook at

Monday, November 22, 2010

Week of 11/21/10

By Eliana Aubin

Every year, Thanksgiving is celebrated at Desert Haven Animal Refuge on the Tuesday before the official Thanksgiving Day. This year again, everyone who volunteers at DHAR and Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe has been invited to share the traditional meal served pot-luck style at the domestic animal sanctuary. It’s always a very enjoyable time, to “break bread” with folks of kindred spirit and Thanksgiving dinner at Desert Haven continues to be a special event.

The Christmas Season is now under way. With it, many of our readers are already starting to feel the pressure from large organizations from all over, asking them to donate generously to help this or that cause. Fundraising on a grand scale is usually carefully orchestrated, especially at this time of the year. It also effectively reaches out to folks’ generosity and compassion. At this time of the year, it’s not often easy to brush-off carefully presented and well written appeals for help, from any worthwhile national organization. Local organizations more often than not don’t have the luxury of being able to spend any of their hard earned resources on fancy fundraising mailings. Anyone interested in donating to a worthwhile cause should consider a local organization first. When you donate locally, you have the opportunity to experience first-hand the Good that you are doing through your generosity.

Thanks to a great team of animal loving folks involved with the Sierra County Humane Society and Desert Haven Animal Refuge, adoptions continue to make Dog Town a very busy place these days. In fact, this year has seen the greatest number of companion animals being adopted from DHAR. While some of them are adopted locally, the new forever home for most of them is many miles away.

This week’s wish list: canned dog and cat food – catnip -tarps or canvas material - carpet remnants - large clear storage containers with or without lids – plywood & building material. We need extra hands in the Desert Haven office and also helping care for the animals. Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe needs helpers as well. Interested in visiting Desert Haven? It is open to the public on Tuesdays. Thinking of adopting? Contact us at 575-894-2778 or 740-4100. Visit us at Write to us at POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942. Meet us on Facebook at

Week of 11/14/10 Humane Happenings

By Eliana Aubin

Winter is on its way to Sierra County and Desert Haven Animal Refuge is making preparations for the cold nights ahead. Thanks to Denny & Mattie Gano, Reba, Gene & Stephen Wagner, Pam Mosher, Sherry Scott and David Kuhn, winterization of the facility is now completed - water lines and spigots throughout the property and also the residents’ habitats are now ready for Old Man Winter!

Do you enjoy working out-of-doors and taking advantage of clean fresh air and the current sunny weather? Our Desert Haven crew always needs extra help with the Fall clean-up of dead weeds, the pruning of large bushes and also with revamping the gravel trails inside Rainbow Bridge Pet Cemetery. If interested, let us know. Bring your work gloves and tools if you wish, and join us mid-morning on a Tuesday. Plan to stay for the 1 PM lunch. We have good folks at Desert Haven - and you may even enjoy visiting with the animals of your choice while you are there.

This week, we thank all the kind folks who help us feed the little ones under our wings, either by donating pet food or with contributions earmarked for food. If you wish to help but can’t make it to DHAR, bring your contributions to Paws & Claws Thrift Shop during business hours, from Wednesday through Saturday. We always need bird and sunflower seeds, rabbit pellets, and also dog and cat food, especially canned food. During the cold winter mornings, the little fur-guys and girls under our care very much enjoy and surely appreciate a little moist food mixed with their dry breakfast. The furry and feathered residents of Desert Haven start their day with kind words, cuddles and breakfast every morning. At Birdland & Animal House, chef salads of cut-up fresh fruits and veggies - courtesy of Bullocks Grocery Store – are mixed together in large stainless steel pans, served inside the several aviaries and habitats. While their breakfast is being prepared, fresh water provided and their living areas and play-yard spruced-up, the dogs are exercised outside their compound, either walked on a leash around the sanctuary or given a chance to romp in groups and socialize inside the Old West Trail, an enclosed one acre track of walking trails and desert landscape. The dogs look forward to this special time every morning and when they are brought back on a leash to their respective quarters, their individual bowl of breakfast is waiting for them. Our small army of 40 resident kitties loves the special attention given to each one of them every morning as they slowly leave their warm cubby holes and their cozy condos to come out and enjoy the tasty treats and moist food prepared with their discerning tastes in mind.

Priority list: heavy duty tarps, large plastic containers with or without lids, canned dog and cat food. Interested in visiting Desert Haven? It is open to the public on Tuesdays. Thinking of adopting? Contact us at 575-894-2778 or 740-4100. Visit us at Write to us at POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942. Meet us on Facebook at

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Week of 11/8/10 Humane happenings

By Eliana Aubin

The past few weeks, the Sierra County Humane Society and Desert Haven Animal Refuge volunteers have had a lot to be thankful for. Recently, Sharon Stoffels of Albuquerque and her father Bill, together with several contributors who wish to stay anonymous, donated time, expertise and funds to update the organization’s computer operation which was badly in need of revamping. In doing so, they helped our office move into the 21st Century. What a difference it is making for our volunteer staff! We also wish to thank Gene Wagner, Desert Haven’s talented handyman, for building a long, great looking wooden computer table for our “new & improved” equipment.

“Kudos” are in order for the leadership of Bullocks Grocery store in TorC for continuing its very generous Cash for Clubs program. The funds our organization receives from redeeming Bullocks receipts are earmarked for the Society’s Spay-Neuter and Spay-a-Stray programs. The results of this year’s Bullocks generosity were recently publicized in the local newspapers and our organization was the highest recipient on record. Each and everyone who saves and regularly drops-off their Bullocks receipts into the SCHS collection boxes around town is part of our success. We could not do what we do for the companion animals of Sierra County without the support of all of YOU who participate in some way. Keep saving those Bullocks receipts for the SCHS & Desert Haven Animal Refuge! They are worth $$$ to the Society!

We also collect aluminum cans. They can be dropped off in the Can Corral adjacent to P&C. Reba Wagner, her husband Gene and son Stephen handle their transport and redeem them locally for our organization. The funds collected help sterilize Sierra County’s companion animals through the Society Spay-Neuter program. Thanks, Guys!

An abandoned Heeler and her three pups need a loving home. The folks who rescued them from the wild already have other dogs and are not able to keep them. For more information, contact Sandra or Johnny at 575-267-9341. A young calico indoor kitty needs a home. His owner has found out that she is allergic, so she can’t keep him.

This week’s high priority wish list: canned dog and cat food, several heavy duty medium sized tarps. Interested in visiting Desert Haven? It is open to the public on Tuesdays. You can also visit our web site at We can also be reached at POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942. Meet us on Facebook at For more information about our animal welfare organization, contact us at 575-894-2778 or 740-4100.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Week of 11/1/10 Humane Happenings

By Eliana Aubin
Lunch time at Desert Haven Animal Refuge 
Helen, Sherry, Glen, Stephen, Jim and Larry

The Sierra County Humane Society, Inc., ( SCHS) is Sierra County's only animal welfare organization. It is NOT associated with either Sierra Animal Shelter or Hot Springs Animal clinic, both of which are privately owned local businesses. The SCHS is a non-profit, volunteer organization which owns and operates Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County no-kill domestic animal sanctuary. The Society and Desert Haven's operating funds are generated solely from the profits generated at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe in TorC, the Society's major fundraising activity, together with private and business contributions. The organization receives no government funding, local or otherwise. Consequently, no Taxpayers dollars are used to operate either the SCHS or Desert Haven.

The SCHS is governed by a volunteer Board of Officers in which are vested the concerns, direction and management of its affairs. Desert Haven is headed by an Executive Director, also a volunteer. The Desert Haven CEO - Eliana Aubin - works closely with the DHAR staff - Operations Coordinator Freddie Loveless and Animal Care Coordinator Reba Wagner, who both reside at the sanctuary, in housing provided by the organization.

Elections of SCHS Directors are held each year at the Annual Meeting on the first Monday in February. Directors serve for three years. The SCHS President, Vice President, Treasurer, both Recording and Corresponding Secretaries are elected each year at the board meeting following the Annual Meeting. Officers serve for one year. Anyone who has been a SCHS member for at least one year and who wishes to serve on the board is invited to send a letter of intent to the SCHS at POB 638, Williamsburg, NM. You can also e-mail the SCHS President at or call the SCHS Secretary at 575-894-2778.

This week, we wish to acknowledge the folks who continue to make cash or in-kind donations to help us feed the furry and feathered residents of Desert Haven. Times seem to be tough for everyone these days, and our non-profit volunteer organization, which relies on the generosity of other caring animal loving folks, is also feeling the effects of these difficult times. Still, every companion animals rescued at the sanctuary must be fed and cared for daily, and their medical needs attended to. Every donation, large or small, is immensely appreciated.

We continue to need helpers at Paws & Claws and also at Desert Haven. Interested in donating at least a couple of hours a week to a worthy cause? contact Freddie at 575-894-2778 or Reba at 740-4100. Interested in adopting? Visit Desert Haven on a Tuesday and meet our little furry guys and girls. If this is the right time for you, surely one of them will "adopt" you. Regardless, a visit to DHAR is sure to be pleasant and rewarding, whether you adopt or not.

You can also visit our web site at
Meet us on Facebook at Our mailing address is 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Week of 10/24/10 Humane Happenings

By Eliana Aubin

Life is very busy at Desert Haven Animal Refuge these days, as Sierra County small domestic animal sanctuary is being prepared for the winter. Dog houses and kitty condos are being provided with extra insulation and warm blankets. Rugs of all sizes stored throughout the summer are being cut and made to fit inside the several canine and feline housing areas, to protect the little fur-guys and girls from the cold cement flooring. With cold weather almost here, DHAR animal care providers have already started to mix canned dog and cat food with the dry food that is served early each morning and again in the evening, to all the residents of Dog Town and The Cool Cat Neighborhood. It takes a lot of bags and cans of food to feed an average of eighty (80) dogs and cats every day. Our readers have been great and we trust that they will continue to help us provide for them in some way.

At this time, Desert Haven is home to a large number of small breed dogs. We especially need “Little Bites” dog food or any dry dog food specifically made for their small mouths. Desert Haven is also a sanctuary for doves, both white and domesticated ring-neck. Peacocks, chickens and roosters, guinea pigs and rabbits also live at DHAR, in their respective habitats and aviaries. Aside from fresh veggies donated by the local grocery store –Bullocks Shur-Save of T or C, and also alfalfa donated by Jeanette Galliard of Albuquerque, they eat scratch corn, bird and sunflower seeds and also rabbit pellets.

Do any of our readers have a small tractor and a blade he or she could use to level two or three work camper RV sites at the small RV campground? RVs seem to have grown even longer the past few years and a couple of the sites need more leveling so that they can easily accommodate the larger RVs. Work campers from all over the US are integral part of the Desert Haven volunteer crew and it’s crucial that the sanctuary continues to be able to accommodate their larger size RVs whenever necessary.

We need two extra helpers on Tuesdays, to help in the Desert Haven office for a couple of hours: one with some simple bookkeeping knowledge to assist Freddie in the morning, the other would be familiar with computer spreadsheets and with some working experience with the program XL. For the past several months, Larry Seaman has been kind enough to keep the spreadsheets up to date until another volunteer takes over.

CPA James Bagwell deserves a huge thank-you from all animal loving folks involved in some way with the Sierra County Humane Society and Desert Haven. Mr. Bagwell’s main office is in Las Cruces, but he also does business in Sierra County from his T or C office. For the past three years, he has handled our animal welfare organization’s taxes and his efforts and expertise have taken a tremendous load off the shoulders of the office staff as well the SCHS board of Directors.

Visit us at and Meet us at www.Facebook/com/deserthaven. Our mailing address is POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Week of 10/16/10 Humane Happenings

By Eliana Aubin

Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe; T or C, New Mexico
Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe is perhaps one of the busiest shops of its kind in the area. Our crew takes in household goods, clothing, furnishing, electronics and small appliances. Volunteers sort through what is donated and keep for display inside the shop high demand items, together with what they consider the best quality and the most unique.

Most of the folks who patronize Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe are very complimentary of the non-profit, volunteer operated resale shop. Many mention the shop’s atmosphere, its character and also the large variety of unusual and often hard-to-find items offered at great prices. They often comment on the friendliness and helpfulness of everyone who volunteers there. Patrons are even more supportive when they are made aware of the reason for its existence. Many tell us that they understand the amount of physical work and dedication that it takes to operate a second hand shop this busy. Most also understand that it takes many transactions to make this type of shop cover the costs of not only its overhead but most especially the entire operation of Desert Haven Animal Refuge and the Sierra County Humane Society.

All the profits generated at P&C help fund community service programs sponsored by the Sierra County Humane Society. Among others, Humane Education through the Adopt-a-Classroom program is available to elementary and middle school students whose teachers choose to participate in the program at the start of each school year. The Society also sponsors the sterilization of dogs and cats through its Spay-Neuter and Spay-a-Stray programs. Last but not least, Desert Haven Animal Refuge - Sierra County’s no-kill domestic animal sanctuary – is almost entirely supported financially by P&C Thrift Shoppe.

We always need extra helpers at the shop which is open each week from Wednesday through Saturday. Interested in helping revamp the display areas and keep them neat and attractive? Decorate the front windows? Help bring larger donated items inside? Help sort through donated items? Contact us at 894-2778.

This week’s wish list: canned dog food – a large tent, enclosed cabana, carport or storage building. We have space for a size 15ft by 15ft or 12ft by 20ft. We desperately need the extra protected floor space to be used as storage & sorting area for Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe and to display for resale most donated furniture and large item.

Visit us at and http:'' Meet us at www.Facebook/com/deserthaven. Our mailing address is POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Week of 9/28/10 Humane Happenings

By Eliana Aubin

This past Tuesday was full of activities at Desert Haven, as several work campers just arrived at the campground adjacent to the small sanctuary and they were being given the opportunity to comfortably settle into their new surroundings. The small DHAR campground now has several new residents: Dennis & Mattie Gano and Linda Livingstone, all originally from Texas. They have been RV’ing all over the US for several years now – a wonderful way to visit the entire United States, one work camping experience at a time.
While the crew is not yet complete, it is at least no longer a skeleton crew and everyone appreciates it. Meeting the new folks was a real pleasure Tuesday, as it was obvious that they all were genuine animal loving individuals who sincerely want to make a difference. Everyone on the crew immediately connected with them and is now looking forward to working together with them this winter.

Tuesday morning, Freddie gave the grand tour to Rich and Jane Johnson of Colorado. The couple is spending a few days at the sanctuary, checking out the area and also helping the crew in anticipation of a possible work camping experience at DHAR in the winter of 2012. They brought with them warm blankets and toys for the residents of Dog Town and The Cool Cat Neighborhood.

Our DHAR office computer – a Dell - is over five years old now and it badly needs servicing. It operates very slowly and we fear that it is now on its last leg. Our budget does not yet allow for the purchase of a much needed “new and improved” computer, so we need to keep our current one in good state of repair, at least as much as we can. Is there someone among our readers with the knowledge to revamp the one we currently are using? This sure would be a great help. Does anyone wish to contribute towards a brand new computer that will last for years to come and also successfully handle the newer programs. All donations made to our organization, in-kind or otherwise, are tax deductible.

For more information on our volunteer, non-profit organization, contact us at 894-2778 or 740-4100. You can also visit us at and Chat with us at www.Facebook/com/deserthaven. Our mailing address is POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Week of 9/18/10 Humane Happenings

Reba, DH Animal Care Provider, at Paws n Claws Thrift Shoppe with Pandora
Desert Haven Animal Refuge is getting ready for the cold nights of the year. From the residents of Dog Town to those in Birdland, Animal House and the Cool Cat Neighborhood, every feathered and furry creature will be insured a warm and cozy place to sleep this winter. Carpet remnants, comforters and warm blankets, fluffy pillows, doggie beds and all the warm bedding items that were collected throughout the summer are now being put into place inside the several habitats in anticipation of the first cold nights of the year.

Local resident Bob Dawkins is no stranger to Desert Haven. Several years ago, he and Father Peter Cacoperdo worked together at the sanctuary, to enclose the area that was to become Dog Town. Bob drilled the post holes with his power auger and Father Peter was in charge of getting the lattice fence off the ground. Thanks to both of them and a small crew of helpers, Dog Town was finally enclosed and ready for occupancy.

Bob read in a recent Humane Happenings article that Desert Haven was using old hay and straw as bedding for the bird and animal residents during the winter months. Soon afterward, Desert Haven became the lucky recipient of an entire truck load of 90 bales of hay to be used exclusively for bedding for the sanctuary residents. Thank you, Bob for your generous donation. Also a well-deserved thank-you is in order to you and all the DHAR volunteers involved in unloading it.

A few days ago, someone dumped an unwanted, not-yet weaned three to four weeks puppy in an alley between two businesses near downtown T or C. The alley is somewhat out-of-the way and it was only by accident that the little fur-girl was discovered one morning. It’s hard to imagine anyone discarding a living creature, just like any unwanted piece of trash. But again, after being involved with helping unwanted companion animals in this area for over twenty years now, this writer is no longer surprised about anything some humans can do to a companion animal. Sad but true.

The tiny pup was brought to Desert Haven. She is safe now, and when old enough, she will be available for adoption. She sure is cute! she has long white hair and two black marks around her eyes, which makes her look like a tiny panda, hence her new name “Pandora”.

Dog Town has another new resident, soon to be ready for adoption: a full-breed, absolutely gorgeous looking five to seven months old male Boxer. We call him Mac. The little guy was obviously abused in the past, but at Desert Haven, he is safe now. He and all the other animal and bird residents are now surrounded by compassionate folks who insure that the helpless creatures that come to the sanctuary will never again be abused or neglected.

We continue to need someone to volunteer a couple of hours every Tuesday to help in the Sierra County Humane Society office at Desert Haven. We have a wide range of office work available, from light office tasks to computer work. If you are interested in helping in the office every Tuesday, either morning or afternoon, contact us at 894-2778 for more information.

Visit us at and Chat with us at www.Facebook/com/deserthaven. Our mailing address is POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sign the petition to keep "Blue" free!

Save "Blue" by making him the official EB community dog!
By Janice Connor
Owner; Butte General Store and Marina

If you are ever in the Elephant Butte area, you are probably familiar with the “Unofficial” Community dog named Blue. For the last six years, Blue has greeted people initially at a local restaurant, Casa Taco. After the owner became ill and needed to close his business down for the winter, Blue made his way to the Butte General Store to continue meeting and greeting people who visited him at the store. For the past year, the community of Elephant Butte has rallied together to take care of Blue’s needs to keep him safe and healthy. Someone now is trying to have Blue’s freedom revoked and keeps harassing the City Officials of Elephant Butte to have him put in the pound. She has even gone as far as threatening to kill him if ever he is seen wondering alone. This loving, gentle dog would never hurt anyone and has been known to protect many people and other pets. By the signing the petition, you can help us keep Blue free and make him the OFFICIAL EB Community dog. If you are unable to come in to our store to sign the actual petition, please add your comment at the bottom of this post with your full name. This way, the judge will know how much community support there is for Blue. Thanks in advance!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Week of 8/22/10 Humane Happenings

Yes, that me...I'm Blue!  

 by Eliana Aubin

It’s often not easy to be a companion animal in Sierra County, especially a puppy that nobody wants. That’s what happened to a furry little guy who came into the world in this part of the desert southwest during the spring of 2004. When the pup was still very young, his owners moved from Elephant Butte to TorC. They did not want to bring him along, so they passed him on to some neighbors of theirs. Soon after that, his new owners moved away, leaving the little guy behind - only a few months old and already all alone. He had to find his place in the world or die trying. The little dog had blue eyes, so “Blue” became his name – a Blue Heeler puppy not yet four months old.

As time went on, Blue made many friends throughout his neighborhood. JR of Casa Taco built him a dog house and cared for him for a while. When JR’s health deteriorated, the folks at Butte General Store & Marina became his new guardian angels. Blue is 6 years old now. Along the way, he has earned a reputation of being gentle, easy-going and also very loyal. Blue has indeed carved his place in the world – he is now the unofficial “greeter” at the General Store.

Blue is very special to the folks in E.B. who know him or his story. They care enough to help insure the safety and well being of this little guy who came into this world several years ago as a throw-away - a small pup nobody seemed to want. Blue is now neutered and his shots are kept up-to-date, thanks to a community that rallied together in his support and made a commitment to help with his upkeep and routine vet bills. It’s obvious that Blue means a lot to a lot of people in Elephant Butte who have come to see him as a community dog. In a society that, sadly, tends to see animals as unimportant creatures, throwaways discarded at will, it is very refreshing to know that there are still folks in our communities, in our neighborhoods, folks who care enough to do what is right when the opportunity arises. Kudos are due to all the great folks who are watching over Blue, the "Community Dog of Elephant Butte City".

This week, we dedicated this article to Blue and we trust that our readers will appreciate our reason for doing so. Those of us who sometimes wonder whether or not there is some compassion left in our materialistic society, the story of Blue rekindles our trust that there is still a lot of good in the human heart.
The Sierra County Humane Society operated thrift shop in T or C continues to need volunteer helpers. Desert Haven needs an administrative assistant on Tuesdays. Interested in helping us in some way? Contact us at 575-894-2778 or 740-4100. You can also check us out at,, or at Our mailing address is POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Week of 8/10/10 Humane Happenings


by Eliana Aubin
The Dog Days of summer have arrived in our area of New Mexico and Desert Haven, Sierra County’s No-Kill domestic animal sanctuary, is also feeling the effects. The weather has been very hot and humid the past few weeks, and during the hottest part of the day, the dogs especially are most appreciative of their kitty pools and also of the young shade trees planted several years ago inside their play yards and with them in mind. Keeping up with the fast growing weeds and grasses at this time of the year is also a goal that can’t be overlooked and the DHAR volunteers are very good at keeping them in check.
This week, we wish to acknowledge Don and Barbara Heller of Elephant Butte, for regularly stopping at the sanctuary with donated pet food. Our thanks also go to Cecilia Perez of El Paso who adopted Chiquita several months ago and who continues to remember us with a donation which we use to purchase needed bird seeds for the residents of Birdland. Folks ask us from time to time why we have chickens and roosters, rabbits, guinea pigs, peacocks and even doves. These little feathered and furry guys and girls deserve a decent life too. Every one of our non-human residents is special to us, even Alice the now-elderly rabbit who refuses to eat if either apple or carrot is not part of her menu. There is also 9 year old Elvis who with all the other guinea pigs, some of them elderly like him, is used to choose from a large assortment of fresh veggies, served to the Birdland group early every morning. There is also Rustle the proud Peacock, Jr. and several peahens, also George the feisty rooster, and all the other residents who arrive at DHAR, each one a little rescues, each one with a story.


This week’s wish List: gas operated power washer, manual post driver, plywood and other building and construction material, fiberglass sheets, plastic or other water resistant paneling, table saw, plastic and straw brooms, long handed squeegees, cement floor brushes, large clear storage containers. We also need helpers at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe and also at Desert Haven Animal Refuge. If you love animals and are paperwork or number oriented, helping in the office at DHAR on Tuesdays may be for you. Interested in giving us a hand? Contact us at 575-894-2778 or 740-4100 or 894-2639. Interested in learning more about us? Visit us at and
Become a fan of DHAR at www.Facebook/com/deserthaven.

Week of 8/3/10 Humane Happenings

Cactus garden and Memory Bench
This week, the Sierra County Humane Society & Desert Haven Animal Refuge wishes to acknowledge Sierra County Soil & Water Conservation District for the part they play every year in the beautification of the no-kill domestic animal sanctuary. For the past several years, Desert Haven has received seedlings and small container plants - all of them carefully chosen for our desert climate - courtesy of the SCSWCD. The sanctuary volunteers plant and care for them. At this time of the year, many bushes are flowering all along the trails of DHAR and around the animal and bird habitats and the recent rains have been a blessing.

As visitors and volunteers alike enjoy their scent and their beauty, the DHAR staff makes a point to mention how generous the SCSWCD has been to the sanctuary since it opened its doors several years ago. A very special thank you goes to both Mary Jo Fahl and Bonnie Freeman of the Soil & Water Conservation District. We appreciate their friendliness through the year and especially their helpfulness when we order the seedlings, courtesy of SCSWCD.

Bootz cleaning up outside Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe

Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe continues to be a great local destination for thrifty shoppers, E-bay sellers and also for those who wish to find a very special item, perhaps vintage, antique or simply unusual. The great majority of P&C patrons acknowledge the hard work involved in keeping the store open for business four days a week. We are literally a recycling point-of-contact for the community. We sift through the donations that are dropped-off; we pick out the best as we trash the rest, always keeping in mind what is most in demand within our small community of folks who come from all walks of life. As more and more “lake visitors” from out-of-town patronize our store, especially on week-ends, we keep their needs and special interests in mind as well - not an easy task for our volunteers, since available space and dependable manpower are at a premium at P&C Thrift Shoppe.

A retail shop such as ours is extremely labor intensive and not for everyone, but it has its rewards. We run a tight ship at P&C, under strict policy and procedures. Absolutely no one receives any type of salary. Sierra County’s animal welfare organization operates the shop and its profits benefit the community in many ways. The success of P&C Thrift Shoppe is intimately connected to the success of Desert Haven, which could not operate without the funds generated by the shop.

We need helpers this summer at P&C Thrift Shoppe in TorC, also dog walkers and kitty cuddlers at Desert Haven. We also need office help on Tuesdays. Interested in giving us a hand? Contact us at 575-894-2639, 894-2778 or 740-4100. You can also visit us at and Become a fan of DHAR at www.Facebook/com/deserthaven.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Week of 7/24/10 Humane Happenings

Donated food comes in

80 years old Lawrence (LARRY) Plaatje passed away recently. Respected around the community and well known as loving life and also as someone who loved animals, he will be sorely missed. Muriel Clark of Canon City, Colorado, friend of both Larry and his wife Dorothy who preceded him in death two years ago, sent a donation to Desert Haven in both their memories. What a thoughtful way to help insure that Larry’s love for animals goes on a little longer.

Guardian angels have been watching over Desert Haven the past few weeks. It started with a long visit to the sanctuary by a couple from Albuquerque who spends their vacations at Elephant Butte Lake. A few hours after their visit, the couple came back to DHAR with a brand new – and very much needed - chest freezer that was immediately put to good use. Their generosity did not stop there: their next act of kindness took the shape of a brand new roof at Dog Town. The couple had hired a contractor to replace the existing antiquated - and leaky – corrugated steel roof at the Inn at Dog Town. Plans are now being made for new insulation to be added to the existing one. This will also be done professionally and, once again, courtesy of this wonderful couple. What a difference their generosity has made during the recent heavy rainstorms! No more roof leaks! No more soggy insulation! It is making everyone’s work so much easier!

A few days ago, the same wonderful folks reappeared at DHAR with a truck load of badly needed items that we had recently listed in the wish list section of this article. “We don’t want our names to be mentioned” the gentleman told our staff “We are doing this in memory of our dog Duke. He was our buddy; we miss him very much.” Duke is their 13 ½ years old black lab who died in June of this year. Duke must have been a very special best friend to his folks. Now, even in death, he continues to be remembered through their acts of kindness. So many animals are forgotten by a society that considers them expendable! What better way to memorialize a beloved animal than to help others in need?

Folks like Duke’s help re-energize our commitment to the abandoned animals of Sierra County. Although we can’t save them all, we are determined to help save those we can save. At Desert Haven we most certainly change their lives. We thank everyone who appreciates what we do for animals and who understands what it takes to keep a small, non-profit volunteer organization like ours going every day of every month of every year.

We need helpers this summer, both at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe in T or C and at Desert Haven. Interested in giving us a hand? Contact us at 575-894-2778 or 740-4100. You can also visit us at and
Become a fan of DHAR at www.Facebook/com/deserthaven.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Week of 7/19/10 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

St Cloud Mining recently donated a pallet of kitty litter to Desert Haven Animal Refuge, to be used for the 37 feline residents of the No-Kill sanctuary. True to their word, the generous leadership at St Cloud Mining has shown their community mindedness as they have done every year, since DHAR opened its doors to its feline quarters seven years ago. The folks from H&O Feed and Tire store in T or C accepted to add the donated kitty litter to their regular load and to transport it to the H&O store. DHAR volunteers Reba, Gene and Stephen Wagner picked it up at H&O and transported it to the sanctuary, where Jim Wilson and Mel Klien helped unload it. Thanks, everyone.

The heat at this time of the year can be very dangerous for companion animals. A dog left unattended inside a parked vehicle during the day can die of heat exhaustion or be left brain-damaged within a very short while. So many dogs suffer needlessly when left outside without proper shade. To add to their misery, many are kept chained, sometimes without access to fresh water for long periods of time. Is this callousness, a senseless need to torture another being? Or is it simply miserable ignorance? Why is it that some dog owners treat their companion animals so badly?

If you come across a dog left in a yard without direct access to fresh water or without protection from the summer heat or rain storms, please immediately contact DISPATCH at 575-894-7111 and give the exact location of the animal. Then insure that the situation is properly taken care of. It can soon become a matter of life and death for that animal and your intervention on his behalf may be his only hope for survival.

We, as human beings with a conscience, have a moral obligation to report any incident that we witness and that involves an animal in distress. Call DISPATCH first. Then contact our organization at 575-894-2639 if you wish. We will do our very best to follow through and help insure that the situation is properly taken care of as necessary. Our resources are very limited, both in manpower and financial abilities, but we continue to do whatever is in our power to protect defenseless companion animals in Sierra County. We are their voice after all, and together with every decent human being, we can protect and save as many as we can.
Do you believe in the cause of the animals of Sierra County? Are you paperwork oriented? Perhaps you prefer to work with numbers? Do you have some knowledge of computer? If so, we desperately need your help in the office at Desert Haven on Tuesdays. Contact us at 575-894-2778. Visit us at and
Become a fan of DHAR at www.Facebook/com/deserthaven.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Week of 7/12/10 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Recently, the Sierra County Humane Society and Desert Haven received several phone calls and visits from distraught local residents who were looking for their missing companion animals. The great majority of them had suspiciously disappeared from their own fenced yard. An interesting bit of information came to light: many of the missing dogs resided around the Palomas Circle area near Williamsburg.

The most recent disappearances involved a young Black Lab, also a Great Dane, an Akita, two young Rottweilers, a Springer Spaniel and three German Shepherds, two of them full blooded. Also a Poodle and Basset Hound went missing from their yard recently. Anyone possibly knowing the whereabouts of one or more of the missing dogs should consider contacting the Sierra County Humane Society at 575-894-2778. We will make every effort to reunite the missing dogs with their owners.

This subject is a vivid reminder to animal loving folks that dog fighting is still a real threat in our area, although it has seemed to have gone more underground within the past few years and consequently more difficult to uncover and prosecute locally. Several of the perpetrators, one of them a local business owner at the time, moved out of the area for a while. Sadly, some are now quietly returning. Decent folks have a moral obligation to be watchful for and report to the proper authority suspicious activity anywhere in Sierra County, including the locations where Pit Bulls are suspected of being bred for fighting. Should you wish to do so, you can also contact our organization at 575-894-2639 with your information.

This week, we received a note from John Mulcahy, a recent visitor at Desert Haven. John is Executive Director of the Sierra County Economic Development Organization. His note, which thanked the Desert Haven staff for letting him come out and see the sanctuary, included a generous donation and the following words: “..…….Thank-you even more for your vision and commitment to create such a wonderful place and for bringing together a group of the most caring people in the county. Bless you all. You are doing the right thing.” Thank you, John. Your kind words are heartwarming.
This week’s wish list: Volunteer helpers at both Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe and Desert Haven - sturdy garden tools - fiberglass sheets - plastic water resistant paneling – roofing and construction material - canvas and small tarps - large plastic containers with lids - large dish pans for use as water bowls for the residents of Dog Town. We desperately need a table saw in good condition.
Interested in knowing more about us? Contact us at 575-894-2778 or 740-4100. Visit us at and
Become a fan of DHAR at www.Facebook/com/deserthaven

Week of 7/5/10 Humane Happenings

The Fourth of July week-end has come and gone, together with its traditional festivities and fireworks. Throughout the long week-end, both Caballo and Elephant Butte Lakes were packed with vacationers. During the week-end and for several days afterwards, the Sierra County Humane Society and Desert Haven Animal Refuge received phone calls from owners of dogs who had disappeared during the week-end series of fireworks events. As of the writing of this article, many of the lost dogs were still unaccounted for. Many dogs and cats are terrified by fireworks and they try to run away from them. Those who get lost often cannot find their way back home on their own. Many never find their way home and ultimately die. The ones who end-up at the TorC City Shelter on Date Street and who have identification tags or chips can be reunited with their families within a few days. Unfortunately, the great majority of lost dogs and cats do not have proper identification and are never heard from again. If you share your life with a companion animal, please insure that your little dependent has a collar and current identification tags. Without that information, your little one, even if found, is doomed to become another statistic.

Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe and the Sierra County Humane Society are not affiliated in any way with Sierra Animal Shelter, a for-profit business that is funded by your tax dollars. Consequently, we must generate, through private and business donations and especially through the hard work of our thrift shop volunteers, all the funds needed to operate the Society’s community oriented programs as well as Desert Haven Animal Refuge. At this time, P&C Thrift Shoppe is currently feeling a severe volunteer shortage. Several dependable long-time helpers are now on their summer vacation. We need extra help to replace them until the end of summer.

Do you believe in what we do for the animals of Sierra County and wish to help us in some way? Are you able to give at least two hours a week at P&C Thrift Shoppe during business hours, which is from Wed through Sat? You may prefer doing office work at Desert Haven on Tuesday mornings. Perhaps you enjoy working directly with animals and want to help care for them at the sanctuary? Your time is valuable and we can use it. To quote John Muir “The time that you spend here will not take away from your life. On the contrary, it will enrich it”.

Contact us at 894-2778 or 894-2639. Check us out at,
Become a fan of DHAR at www.Facebook/com/deserthaven.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Week of 6/25/10 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

John Mulcahy with Freddie and Eliana at DHAR

This past Tuesday morning, Desert Haven Animal Refuge had the pleasure of a visit from John Mulcahy. John is the new Executive Director of the Sierra County Economic Development Organization. As he was strolling around the sanctuary and visiting the residents’ habitats, DHAR’s official tour guide, Freddie Loveless, explained the Sierra County Humane Society’s 21 (twenty-one) year history and the reasons behind its foundation. John commented:” I am inspired by what you have accomplished here. I am inspired because what Desert Haven is doing is so obviously right. It’s the right thing to do.”

To quote a saying taken from John Mulcahy’s Facebook page “You have not started living until you have started giving”, the volunteer members of the team at Desert Haven understand this saying very well, as they give of themselves at the sanctuary to help make a gentler and kinder world for all of us, including the creatures who share this Earth with us.

This week, we wish to remind everyone who shops at Bullocks and who wishes to support us in some way, to please save all their receipts for our organization. Bullocks receipts can be dropped-off at Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe, the TorC public library and the Williamsburg Post Office. Our non-profit organization redeems them routinely for cash – $2 per thousand dollars, courtesy of Bullocks Grocery Store. The funds collected through the Cash-for-Clubs program (Bullocks receipts) help keep the Society’s spay-neuter and spay-a-stray programs in existence. We also collect aluminum cans. They can be dropped-off in the Cans Corral adjacent to Paws&Claws.

MD”Doc” Kucera has been a dedicated – and very much appreciated - volunteer Administrative Assistant at Desert Haven for several months now. His deteriorating health has recently forced him to resign from his position at the sanctuary. Although we will greatly miss seeing both him and his spirited furry buddy “Harley” every Tuesday morning, we understand his difficult decision to totally concentrate on his health and well-being until his health gets back on track. Filling Doc’s position as soon as possible is crucial to Desert Haven and the SCHS. If any of our supporters has a couple of hours and some general office and computer skills to give to a worthy cause on Tuesdays, please call us at 575-894-2778.

Interested in knowing more about us? Check us out at,, and become a Facebook fan of DHAR at www.Facebook/com/deserthaven.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Week of 6/21/10 Humane Happenings

Our work camper, Mel, talking to Mosey, resting comfortably in the shade at Dog Town.

Hot, hot, and hotter! Soon, the monsoon season will be here and with it the summer rains will drench our Desert Southwest and bring much needed relief. Until then, the Desert Haven team is using all the resources at its disposal to keep the furry and feathered residents as comfortable as possible throughout the day in this torrid heat.

With no large shady trees providing needed protection from the three- digit desert heat, our crew has to resort to other means of providing shade for the little ones in its care during the current series of uncomfortable heat waves. We have found out that tarps, mostly the smaller sizes, can successfully cover specific areas inside the sanctuary - in Dog Town especially - providing effective shade during the most intense heat in any given day. If anyone wishes to help us keep tarps handy for shade, we would certainly be most grateful. As many of our active members and supporters are aware of, the resources of the Sierra County Humane Society and Desert Haven are very limited and every donation, either in kind or monetary, is used carefully and effectively.

Nice shot of our work campers Mel & Eve - Mel with Missy and Eve with Dutchess (tough getting doggies to "smile" for the camera"!)

We also thank the generous folks who kindly drop-off bags of pet food at Desert Haven on Tuesday and to Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe whenever it is open for business (Wednesday 1 PM-4PM, Thursday and Friday 10AM-4PM and Saturday from 10-3 PM). At Dog Town, not counting the larger breeds, we currently care for seventeen small to tiny canines, which is an increase of four since last week, when we rescued four new tiny furry little guys and girls. All these little ones require dog food geared to their small to very small size. Although Desert Haven purchases the “Purina Little Bites” brand for its small army of adult little dogs, any brand specializing on small breeds is most welcome. Treats of all types are a regular part of our dogs’ diet - except rawhide bones, as many of our canine residents tend to fight among themselves over treats that are not totally eaten in one or two bites. If you wish to donate pet food or treats to the dogs and cats of Desert Haven, you can drop-off your contribution directly at the sanctuary on Tuesday or at Paws & Claws when open for business. Please don’t leave anything in front of the store unless you wish to take the risk that unscrupulous characters will likely steal your donation before anyone on our crew can secure it. For more information on our animal welfare organization and Sierra County’s no-kill domestic animal sanctuary, contact us at 575-894-2778 or 575-740-4100. We can also be reached at POB 638, Williamsburg NM, 87942,, and at

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Week of 6/14/10 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin


Aside from being home to 37 cats, a large number of domesticated ring neck and white doves, several peacocks, chickens and roosters (most of them miniature), many guinea pigs and one older rabbit, Desert Haven Animal Refuge is also home to 30 dogs of all sizes. There is Maxwell, a very handsome shepherd who has been living at Dog Town for several years now. He was a very young pup when found wandering along a deserted section of the Rio Grande, together with his brother who was also suffering from exposure and malnutrition. There is Vicky the Boxer, also rescued one summer a few years back from the desert near Cuchillo. Vicky shares The Canine Cottage and its play yard with her buddy, Sparky, a young and playful bird dog.


There is Mosey the gentle Rhodesian Ridgeback, who shares a play yard with Skye, the heeler. There is also Chowder the heeler-mix and his playmate, Shadow, a handsome, slender black lab. There is old Missy and her sister Duchess, both life-long partners who continue to enjoy each other’s company as they are growing old. Buddy the border collie, Emma the boxer-american bulldog and Ranger the husky share a large play yard.


There is Copper, a young sheba-inu, also old Jack, a German Shepherd. Then there are the little ones: Penny the chihuahua and Ruffles the terrier are playmates in their foster home at Desert Haven. Tina and Brendle are both Chihuahuas. Sassy and Taffy are Chi-weenies. Rosie, Pippy, Zena are terrier-mix. Tootsie is a fox-terrier. Oscar is a Chihuahua. Sallie is a miniature Pincher. They all live together and share several indoor condos, also the Puppy Play-Yard, the Puppy Club House and its kiddy swimming pool. And now there are the five puppies left from the litter of seven tiny pups abandoned at the entrance of DHAR several weeks ago. They are: Madison, Raider, Corey, Riley and Jasmin. The other two have been adopted already.

This week’s wish list includes dog food for Desert Haven’s adult little dogs. Currently, Dog Town at Desert Haven has twelve (12) small adult resident dogs and their mouths can’t handle the regular size dog food. At this time of the year, we also need several extra dog walkers who can help walk our furry little ones one or more days a week during morning animal care. For more information on how you can support our animal welfare organization in some way, or to adopt a companion animal, contact us at 575-894-2778 or 575-740-4100. We can be reached at POB 638, Williamsburg NM, 87942,, and at

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Week of 6/8/10 Humane Happenings

By Eliana Aubin

Eliana and Luke

This past couple of weeks, Desert Haven Animal Refuge has been taking strong measures to give the residents as much protection from the heat wave as possible. The resourceful crew is working hard to keep the animals and birds as cool as possible. Misters and fans are cooling the inside kennels in the Inn at Dog Town and in the Cool Cat Neighborhood. Large tarps are now providing extra shade inside the several doggie play yards. The kitty plastic pools in Dog Town, recently donated to the sanctuary by Shelly & Kevin Salazar of KNS Painting, LLC in Albuquerque, NM, are a hit with all the furry little guy and girl dogs who can’t seem to get enough of the water and can often be seen wading into it and splashing it with pleasure.

As we lovingly care for our little rescues, our hearts break for the neglected dogs and cats in this area. It’s a sad fact that dogs are still seen chained out-of-doors, even in this torrid heat? Without an adequate water source or proper shelter, dogs left outside suffer needlessly and some of them even die – an agonizing and lonely death.

Our organization continues to receive phone calls from folks who wish to report animal cruelty, abuse, or lost or abandoned dogs. Contrary to what some of our readers watch on “Animal Planet”, animal welfare organizations in New Mexico are not legally connected with the Law Enforcement. Consequently, they cannot physically trespass on private properties to rescue domestic animals in distress. This is the duty of the local Animal Control Officer - a public servant whose job is to investigate and properly handle complaints from the public. Anyone witnessing animal neglect or cruelty has the moral obligation to contact Dispatch at 575-894-7111. You can stay anonymous if you wish. Dispatch will then connect with the Animal Control Officer on duty.

Don’t just stop there. Either request a follow-up or call Dispatch again to find out what has been done. Animal cruelty or neglect is punishable by law and we trust that folks who witness it do what is morally right. If there is no follow-up and you realize that nothing is being done, contact our organization at 575-894-2778 or 575-740-4100 or 575-894-2639 and we will then do what is in our power to insure that the law is followed and the animal rescued.

Fun time watching Tuesday AM activities

This week, we appeal once again to our readers for puppy food. The rescued puppies are eating no less than 7-8 lbs of food each day and their food intake keeps growing along with their size. We need dog walkers at DHAR in the morning. For more information on how you can help, or to adopt a companion animal, contact DHAR Animal Care Coordinator Reba Wagner at 575-740-4100.

We can be reached at POB 638, Williamsburg NM, 87942,, and at