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