Friday, September 30, 2011

Week of 9/25/11 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Mosey is waiting patiently at Desert Haven for her "forever" home!

This week, the volunteer team at Desert Haven was made aware of a situation involving a dog owned by a local individual. The dog – a gentle female Pit Bull - has been bred regularly for profit. Pit Bull pups are sold to the highest bidder in this area of NM. This situation seems to be the norm around here, as far as Pit Bulls are concerned. The ordeal of this specific female dog touched a sensitive cord with the ranks of the sanctuary’s volunteers. This time, the delivery went wrong. The female suffered terribly – an agony that took many, many drawn-out hours. The puppies were dead at birth and the mother is not expected to survive. Of course, no veterinary care for that dog – it would have cut into her owners anticipated profits.

People who love animals feel immense compassion for dogs routinely bred so that their owners can reap a sizeable profit from the sale of their puppies. Back yard Puppy Mills are still alive and well right here in and around our communities. Back yard breeding involving Pit Bulls is even more disturbing. Pit Bulls in this area and perhaps in most areas of the US are generally acquired for all the wrong reasons. The fact that their owners refuse to have these dog sterilized is a unmistakable indication that their reason is obvious and consequently it is very unsettling to decent folks.

Anyone knowing of back yard Pit Bull breeding should contact The Sierra County Humane Society at 575-894-1694 or 894-2639. Please leave a clear message and as much pertinent information as you can, such as the exact address of the breeders, number of adult dogs, etc. You can remain anonymous, but please, if at all possible, leave a number where you can be reached if we cannot find the location ourselves. Sheriff Joe Baca and Tor C Police Chief Gallagher do not condone dog fighting, an illegal activity in all of the US, including New Mexico. The raising of Pit Bulls for dog fight, the back yard breeding of Pit Bulls for profit, so that their off-springs can be sold at a profit to unscrupulous individuals who use the most aggressive ones for fighting and the gentler ones for bait, an abomination. Unfortunately, our area is not immune to this illegal activity.

If you have the use of a computer, please check our Desert Haven Facebook page at for more information. Decent folks who love animals owe it to the innocent victims of Man’s Cruelty to become more aware of their agony as they are bred, raised and sold to be used and ripped apart in dog fights. Some of these activities are kept well hidden but still right under our noses, in our neighborhoods. Vigilance on the part of all decent folks may save some of those animals. All animals deserve better.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Week of 9/17/11 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

David Kuhn and Lolly

These past couple of weeks, the Sierra County Humane Society 2011 newsletters went out to members and supporters from all over. The on-going generosity and kindness of our members and friends allow us to help and protect homeless pets in our area. We appreciate the dedication of our volunteers, both at Desert Haven and Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe. Everyone involved with our organization has contributed to its success over the years. It’s a success that finally gives a voice to the unwanted animals in our corner of the world.

The Sierra County Humane Society was organized in 1989, only after many unsuccessful attempts were made over the years by people wanting to make life a little better for dogs and cats in Sierra County. It took a lot of determination to get our organization started. The road was not easy and full of man-made obstacles. After all, this was still “The Wild West” not that long ago. In 1995, to curb the cat overpopulation in Sierra County, our organization decided to cover the costs of sterilizing stray and feral cats. We called it the Spay-a-Stray program. It was tailored from the Trap-Neuter-Release program initiated by the national organization “Alley Cat Allies”. Surprisingly, several local people with special interests and free time on their hands were not only dead-set against it, but even campaigned against us. They tried to crush our efforts to save stray and feral cats and kittens whose only fault was to be born unwanted, from systematic killing to reduce their population.

Thankfully, times have changed. More cat owners now understand the need to sterilize their companion animal. There is also more compassion towards stray and feral cats and kittens. Feral cats, after all, are the off-springs of un-sterilized female house cats or of cats abandoned by their owners to fend for themselves. Male cats allowed to roam out-of-doors also contribute to the cat overpopulation. Until our organization instated the Spay-a-Stray program, all of these unwanted animals were doomed to die. For more information on the Spay-a-Stray program, contact us at 894-1694.

Volunteer opportunities are always available at both Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe in TorC and at Dessert Haven Animal Refuge. Call us at 575-894-2639 or at 813-716-2033 for more information. To adopt a dog or a cat, contact us at 740-9412. Tuesday is Open House Day at the no-kill sanctuary and everyone is welcome to visit. Visit our web site at: , our blog at and our Facebook page at

Week of 9/10/11 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Newsletter crew

This past Tuesday was very busy at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, the no-kill domestic animal sanctuary owned and operated by the Sierra County Humane Society. After the traditional pot-luck lunch shared by the DHAR volunteer and work camping team, everyone gathered around the oversize table in the dining/meeting room. The goal this week was to fold the newly printed 2011 newsletters and get them ready to mail to our supporters and members. In a few days, over six hundreds newsletter will have been mailed to our animal loving friends in Sierra County and throughout the US. The furry and feathered residents of Desert Haven count on YOU. Our volunteer team counts on YOU. Your membership gift and your continued support make our work of love at Desert Haven Animal Refuge possible. We could not do what we do without YOU.

This week’s wish list: Bleach, Odorban, dishwashing liquid, heavy duty long and short handle brushes. We can also use construction and roofing material, plywood, rolls of insulation, wood screws, etc. Our on-going treat supply for Desert Haven canines of all sizes needs replenishing. Please consider donating dog treats for dogs of all sizes (no rawhide please). Your contribution can be dropped off on Tuesday at DHAR or at Paws&Claws when the shop is open for business (Wed through Sat from 11 AM to 4 PM). Please wait for the shop to be open for business when you drop-off your contributions. Remember that any donated item left at the front of the store when it is closed usually disappears quickly into the wrong hands and does not make it inside.

We continue to offer volunteer opportunities at both Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe and Desert Haven Animal Refuge. Two of our P&C Thrift Shoppe dedicated volunteers have recently taken a medical leave of absence. We need help now more than ever at the shop. It’s in the middle of re-organization and our customers are obviously impressed with the results. All the comments we hear are very positive and encouraging and they are shared with all the volunteers. Everyone likes the “New Look” at Paws& Claws. Interested in helping your local animal welfare organization in some way? Call us at 575-894-2639 or at 813-716-2033 for more information. Tuesday is Open House Day at the no-kill sanctuary and everyone is welcome to visit. Visit our web site at: , our blog at and our facebook page at

Week of 8/28/11 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Bill washing dog dishes

Sunvalley Hardware made a generous donation of dog food to Desert Haven recently. We sincerely thank owner Chuck Watkins and Manager Doug Brown for initiating this timely donation. We also thank Jesse Bailey for kindly loading the several large dog food bags into the IM4PETS truck - destination: Desert Haven Animal Refuge.

These are tough economic times for everyone. Contributions to our cause have understandably decreased since the past economic down turn, but the need to care for even more animals has increased. These are also though times for the animals all over Sierra County. These are times they need us the most. We depend on our supporters now more than ever. We depend on profits from our Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe now more than ever. Times are tough. Still, our business community continues to come through for us. Moose Lodge 2050 and American Legion Post 44 also came through for us this year, as they do whenever we need it the most. People from all over who love animals continue to help us make a difference in Sierra County. We are grateful. We could not do what we do without ALL OF YOU who support our cause.

Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe has been undergoing some re-organization the past couple of weeks. The major project has been on our “must-do” list for several months now, but we just did not have the able-bodied volunteers to get it off the ground. Last Monday, Frank and Daniel Welch, Sherry Scott, Janice and David Lamb, Bob and Bonnie Collins, Israel Davis, together with Eliana Aubin, spent the entire afternoon re-organizing the store front of Paws & claws Thrift Shoppe. Janice, David and Eliana worked long after everyone else had left that evening, to bring the project a little closer to completion before the shop opened for business as usual on Wednesday of that week. It was hard physical work, but the results made it all worth it. A sincere “Thank- you” goes to everyone involved in this major and much needed project.

Interested in joining our animal welfare cause? Pick up a membership form at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe and become a member. There are volunteer opportunities at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe as well as Desert Haven Animal Refuge. Contact us at 813-716-2033 or 894-2639 or for more information. Visit the sanctuary on Tuesday, between 9 AM and 4 PM, when it is open to visitors. Want to adopt a dog or a cat? Contact us at 740-9412. Visit our web site at: , our blog at and