Saturday, March 27, 2010

Week of 3/21/10 Humane Happenings

Daisy (on left) adopted from Desert Haven where she was known as Scruffy, in her new forever home with Luke, a new friend!

We have had a lot of people ask us what is the difference between the Sierra County Humane Society, Desert Haven Animal Refuge and Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe, how these three entities are related to each other, and where does Sierra Animal Shelter fit into this?

1. The Sierra County Humane Society, Desert Haven Animal Refuge and Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe are all under the same umbrella, which is a non-profit (501-C-3) animal welfare organization. We take unwanted, abandoned and abused animals off the streets, directly from their owners and also from the city shelter – Sierra Animal shelter. We give them sanctuary, food, and veterinary care, from whatever funds we are able to raise on our own. With the help of our volunteers, these animals also receive the one-on-one attention that they so richly deserve to help heal not only their bodies but also their hearts.

Our physical address is HWY 187, HC31 box 42, Williamsburg.

2. Sierra Animal Shelter is a business for profit. This for-profit business receives taxpayers dollars through contracts with the City of T or C, Sierra County, the state parks, Village of Williamsburg and City of Elephant Butte. Sierra Animal Shelter is associated with Hot Springs Animal Clinic. Both of these for-profit businesses are under the same private ownership. Their physical address is 1607 North Date Street, T or C.

Here are some more differences between the two entities described above.

1. Our Desert Haven is a No-Kill domestic animal sanctuary operated by volunteers. The number of animals we can rescue and care for is limited only by the amount of funding we ourselves can raise through community outreach events, private donations, and the available space within our facility. We care for all of them until they are adopted out or to the end of their natural life.

2. On the other hand, taxpayers’ funding covers Sierra Animal Shelter’s operating expenses and employees salaries. Through their contracts, they are obliged to accept all animals brought in from T or C and all of Sierra County and to dispose of them as per their contract and the Animal Control Ordinance. They also adopt out as many animals as they can. Because there are so many unwanted animals in Sierra County, the animals they cannot adopt out within a certain amount of time are euthanized. Sierra Animal Shelter does not have the No-Kill policy that we at Desert Haven have.

For as long as we can remember, folks have been confused about the differences between the Sierra County Humane Society and Sierra Animal Shelter. We hope that we have been able to clear this up for anyone who shares this confusion.
If you still have questions, feel free to contact us at 575-894-2778. For more information on the Sierra County Humane Society, Inc., Desert Haven Animal Refuge and P&C thrift Shoppe, visit our web site at, contact us at 894-2778 or 894-2639 or visit Desert Haven on Tuesday when it is open for visitors.

Week of 3/17/10 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe; T or C, New Mexico

The Sierra County Humane Society is a community oriented animal welfare organization that is entirely funded through private and corporate contributions and does not receive government funding, local or otherwise. It is through the efforts of volunteers that the Society generates the funds needed to support its Spay-neuter and Spay-a-stray programs, among others. Desert Haven Animal Refuge is a five-acre facility that operates under the umbrella of the Society and is funded entirely by the organization, which, by the way, is not affiliated to any other humane society in the country. It operates entirely on its own. Desert Haven is home to over 200 non-human residents, 35 of them are dogs and 36 are cats.

Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe, located next to Family Dollar in T or C, is the major generator of funds for both the Sierra County Humane Society and Desert Haven Animal Refuge. Paws&Claws offers a large and ever-changing selection of new and gently used items that many local and out-of-town customers consider interesting and very reasonably priced. The shop is over 3700 sq ft and requires a lot of volunteer hours to operate and keep it open 4 days a week. In-kind donations arrive daily and everything is carefully sorted by Estella Groff, Janelle Clasen, Linda Clayton, Diana Rivera and “Bootz” Farrester. All of these volunteers have been reliable for several years now and very much depended on. Stephen Wagner sorts, tests, cleans, repairs and prices small electrical appliances and electronics in a work area inside the shop - “Stephen’s Electronics Unlimited” section – that he successfully took over several months ago. Diane Bellack handles all craft and sewing items from her home in Hillsboro. Jan Haley, also of Hillsboro, regularly drops-off at the shop the priced and attractively packaged sewing and craft merchandise. Annie Kile, who resides at Desert Haven, routinely stocks the store with newly priced items and she also updates the merchandise in the windows. Jody Koch, Freddie Loveless and shop manager Eliana Aubin also have specific responsibilities, which include tagging and pricing, also handling the sales and interacting with the customers.

We continue to receive much praise from our loyal customers who understand the work involved and the difficulties we encounter daily, such as a lack of an adequate volunteer crew for a shop this size and this busy, also, sadly, having to effectively and professionally deal with the select few locals who have made a habit of wanting-something-for-nothing. Most of those who patronize P&C are great customers who appreciate our efforts and hard work and who respect us for it. We are also appreciated for the community service that we provide by offering a large selection of varied and quality second-hand merchandise at very affordable prices. We are grateful for the patronage of our loyal local supporters and of the many out-of-town customers who make it a point to shop at P&C whenever they are in the area. To all of you, a sincere “Thank-you”.

We can be reached at 894-2778 for more information. Write us at POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87901. Check us out at, and

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Week of 3/10/10 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

DH volunteer Annie and her dog, Mac

This week again, we are sending an appeal to all our animal loving friends for their help in feeding the more than 200 feathered and furry residents at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County’s No-Kill domestic animal sanctuary. DHAR is owned and operated by the Sierra County Humane Society, Inc., a 501-c-3 non-profit organization. Day after day, week after week, we feed an average of 34 dogs and 35 cats at the sanctuary.

Soon after Walmart opened its doors in our community, Desert Haven started to enjoy the mega store’s generous contributions of damaged bags of pet food that helped offset the high costs of feeding all its residents. At the same time, the store’s generosity allowed us to rescue even more dogs and cats than our limited resources would have allowed otherwise. In late November of last year, this vital flow of damaged bags of pet food was disrupted as a result of a change of management at WalMart. This is food that otherwise would simply be thrown in the trash, but to the rescued animals at DHAR, this is a gift of life. Until WalMart decides to resume its generous donations, we are asking our animal loving friends to please consider helping us out.

A puppy mill was recently closed down by Sierra County law enforcement officers. Desert Haven accepted to take in several of the tiny adult Chihuahuas, saving their lives in the process. When they arrived, all the little ones were very skinny and they also showed obvious socialization and other issues. The Desert Haven team took the little guy and girl-dogs under its wings and soon, we all could see their eyes start to shine a little more each day, as each little personality blossomed. Often, our customers at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe make it a point to praise us for what we do for the animals of Sierra County, and for what we achieve every day at the sanctuary. “You have accomplished nothing short of a miracle at Desert Haven” (thank- you, Judy, for your kind words).

Visit the sanctuary on a Tuesday. Take time to mingle among its residents as you stroll through Birdland, Dogtown and the Cool Cat Neighborhood. Then pause for a moment on one of the park benches near the Old West Placita, as you watch the volunteers go about their activities. Desert Haven has a heartbeat. It can be felt, especially on a Tuesday.

We can be reached at 894-2778 for more information. Write us at POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87901. Check us out at, and

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wek of 3/1/10 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Bill & Wolfie

This week, the Sierra County Humane Society (SCHS) wishes to acknowledge the dedicated work-camping crew currently residing at Desert Haven Animal Refuge (DHAR), Sierra County’s no-kill domestic animal sanctuary. Freddie, originally of Indiana, has made DHAR her home for the past 6 years. Over the years, Freddie has become a key ingredient in the success of the small but effective sanctuary. Reba, husband Gene and adult son Stephen of Tennessee settled at the sanctuary over a year ago and are now an integral part of its heart and soul. Annie moved to DHAR from New Jersey, together with husband Tom, who is now locally employed. Annie’s energy and talents, together with a strong desire to make a difference, make her an integral part of the DHAR team. Bill is originally from California and has recently relocated to DHAR with his inseparable fur-buddy - ”The Wolfman”. Bill enjoys beautifying his surroundings and the results are becoming impressive. Larry and Christy of Minnesota bring with them an extensive business and computer experience, strong professionalism as well as valuable animal expertise. Lisa and Claudine, DHAR’s most recent team members, are from Michigan. Their outgoing and friendly personality, matched by their strong work ethics and positive energy, make them especially enjoyable to work with and an asset to the entire operation.

Animal loving work campers come to Desert Haven from all over the US. Their talents, their skills and as importantly, their precious time, become the ingredients that help make Desert Haven the successful operation that it is today. Interested in becoming a work camper? contact us at 575-894-1694 or at Applications are also available on our web site.

This week’s high priority wish list: dry and canned dog food. It takes no less than 25 lbs of dry dog food every day, to feed the 35 residents of Dog Town. Our resources are limited – your generosity is crucial! Call us at 575-894-1694 or 894-2778 for more information. Write us at POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87901. Visit Desert Haven on Tuesdays. Check us out at, and