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.