Saturday, December 31, 2011

Week of 12/25/11 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

This is Christmas week 2011 - quite an interesting few days for the volunteers at Desert Haven Animal Refuge.

Freedom with Sherry, former DH animal care coordinator.
Freedom, the black lab rescued at the sanctuary from an abusive environment some months ago, has now moved to his forever home. Do you remember Jill Elisabeth and the You-Tube segment that she made about Desert Haven recently? Well, you can watch it either on You-Tube or on During her several visits to the sanctuary last week, Jill interacted with all the DogTown residents and Freedom caught her attention. From then on, Freedom and Jill became best buddies and now, Freedom has his very special place in the sun. We are told that Jill’s bed is his favorite spot these days and that it is where he feels most secure. Thank you, Jill, for taking this fur-kid into your home and into your heart.

Riley the fluffy teenage kitty is moving to his forever home in Seattle Washington at the end of this month. His plane trip, courtesy of Carl and Linda who are currently work camping at the sanctuary, will land him on the lap of Linda’s sister who is waiting for him with anticipation. Hurray for Riley! And a big hug to Carl and Linda for their kindness!

Ric and Marj arrived at Desert Haven last month with the intention of work camping at the facility for several months. They received sad news a few days ago regarding the health of a close family member. The news prompted them to make the decision to leave the sanctuary almost immediately - months earlier than expected - and to move close to their family member in need of their support.

With Ric & Marj leaving the sanctuary immediately, the DHAR volunteer crew is now short two team members - a huge drawback for everyone there. If you enjoy the company of dogs or cats but adoption is not in your plans at this time, volunteering at the sanctuary for a couple of hours a week may be for you. If you believe in what we do for companion animals down-on-their-luck and you can give to a good cause a few hours of your time for a while, we can certainly use your help at Desert Haven. If your new year’s resolution includes getting more exercise to stay healthy, walking the dogs of Desert Haven one or more mornings a week may just be what you need. Interested in more information? Contact Janice at 575-894-1694 or 813-716-2033.

Check us out at Chat with us at Our mailing address is POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Week of 12/18/11 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

This week, the volunteers and staff at Desert Haven Animal Refuge wish to thank Jill Elizabeth, a California native traveling throughout the US on a mission. Jill’s goal is to search out good deeds performed by ordinary people. She then shares her interesting and entertaining findings on You-Tube - “Videos to inspire and inform as together we build a new world of love, truth and freedom!”

Jill’s current residence is Truth or Consequences. This past week, she visited Desert Haven. As she interacted with all the little rescues, she interviewed the volunteers. Part one of two is already posted on You-Tube and also on Facebook at Thank you, Jill, for bringing attention to the cause of all companion animals in need and for giving folks everywhere the opportunity to see what we do here at Desert Haven.

Jill and a young black Lab named Freedom connected in a special way during the several visits Jill made to the sanctuary this past week. The playful girl-dog is being adopted and will soon move to a home of her very own! What a great way for Freedom to end the year 2011!

We currently are receiving a larger than usual number of requests regarding abandoned or no longer wanted dogs and cats. Our sanctuary is small and can’t take them all. However, we can help in another way! E-mail us at several photos, together with some information on the animal you wish to give up and we will post them – free of charge to you - on the Desert Haven Petfinder page. The Adopt-a-Pet Referral program is sponsored by the Sierra County Humane Society. Call Janice at 813-716-2033 for more information. Interested in adopting a cat or kitten? A generous couple who supports our efforts is currently covering half of the adoption fee for any feline adopted from our sanctuary. Interested? Contact us at 575-894-1694 or 813-716-2033. Desert Haven is open for visitors every Tuesday from 9AM to 4PM.

One of Paw&Claws dedicated volunteers is slowly recovering from a very recent vehicle accident. He will be out of commission for at least several more weeks. If interested in helping out at P&C during his recovery, please let us know. P&C Thrift Shoppe is open Wednesday through Saturday between 11 AM and 4PM. Would you like to become a member of our animal welfare organization or support us in some other way? Check us out at or call us at 575- 894-1694. Our mailing address is POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Week of 12/11/11 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

 Bullocks receipts are an important source of revenues for the Sierra County Humane Society. We collect Bullocks receipts at Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe, the TorC  Public Library, also at Celestial Creations in TorC. Josephine Varnum routinely tallies them for our animal welfare organization, as she has done for many years now. The funds generated by the receipts go towards the SCHS spay-neuter program. We also collect aluminum cans to help fund the program. Our Can-Corral is located next to Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe in TorC. Our volunteers work hard and deserve a pat 
on the back. Our supporters from all over are very generous and they too deserve our gratitude.

At this time of the year and for while longer, folks who wish to adopt a cat or kitten from the sanctuary have the unique opportunity to pay only half of the adoption fee, thanks to an anonymous supporter who wants to give Desert Haven felines an extra chance to find a special forever home during the Christmas Holidays. Interested? Contact us at 894-1694 or visit the sanctuary when it is open to the public - every Tuesday, from 9AM to 4PM.

A sincere thank-you goes to the kind folks who last week brought to Desert Haven and Paws&Claws bags of used pillows and blankets, also small rugs to help keep the fur-kid residents warm during this extreme weather.  Their outpour of generosity was truly heartwarming. Winter is not yet over, so please continue to donate whatever warm bedding you no longer need nor want. If you wish to help out in other ways, please donate canned dog food for the residents of Dogtown. When it is cold as it is right now, we feed them a mixture of canned and dry dog food and our supply of canned food has become very low.

Our organization has recently been inundated with calls from local people who want to give away an unwanted animal or two. The last few weeks especially, calls came from neighbors of people who moved away, passed away or went to the nursing home, leaving their pets behind. We want to help, but more often than not, we can"t. We do not have the room or the resources we would need to take in all these little ones at the sanctuary.

Our mailing address is Post Office Box 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942. Check us out at,, and

Friday, December 9, 2011

Week of 12/7/11 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Israel receiving donations at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe
This is the time of the year when we are asked to donate to this cause or that charity. The act of giving fills us with joy. And when the recipient responds with gratitude, we find satisfaction. Whether we donate to a local cause or a national charity this holiday season, we will experience the most joy and satisfaction when we know that our hard-earned money lands where it’s most needed and where it will do the most good.

With so many animal welfare organizations all over the US, competition for funds has become intense. We need to add to that the scam artists posing as charities,and we will understand how easily our contributions could fall into the wrong hands. So before we write our check, let’sdo our homework. We want to know how our money will be spent and if the organization is in good standing with the IRS. A good rule of thumb: at least 75% of our donation should go to the cause we want to help. That leaves 25% of each donated dollar earmarked for administrative costs, such as salaries and fundraising.

The Sierra County Humane Society has an even better long-term record. In 2010, our tax returns indicated that we spent only 4% in administrative costs, a far cry from many well-known animal welfare organizations that as a rule spend the majority of our donations on their extensive fundraising activities, not to mention ther high salaries of their managing staff.

When our donated dollars stay in Sierra County – known to be one of the 17 poorest counties in the entire US by the way– every dollar that we give for the worthwhile cause of our choice can be accounted for. By donating locally, we can follow, first hand, were our contribution goes and how it benefits the organization of our choice, simply because it’s right here in Sierra County.

The Sierra County Humane Society needs your generous help this holiday season. Desert Haven, Sierra County’s no-kill domestic animal sanctuary, needs your support. Your contribution to your local animal welfare organization is vital to the good work that we do to help companion animals down-on-their-luck. Please be generous this holiday season – help us help them. Every dollar counts and is accounted for.

Please send your contribution to SCHS & DHAR, Post Office Box 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942. You can also donate on line via PayPal (link is always available from the home page of our web site) or via Causes, which is also available on Facebook.

We also need warm bedding and used pillows for the little ones in our care. Dog treats are always needed and appreciated. We have already started heating the Inn at Dog Town at night - it's freezing right now, and there is another snow storm on the way, with expected temperatures of around zero. We are not used to these extremes and neither are our little rescues. This is the Desert Southwest after all. The costs of heating Dog Town is very high. We will soon have to find another - much more economical - way to heat the insulated building, in order to make it more in line with our budget. Any advice anyone? Until then, we are appealing for help in keeping all our little ones as comfortable as we possibly can during these unusually cold temperatures.

We also need volunteers at Desert Haven and Paws& Claws Thrift Shoppe. Contact us at 575-894-2639. Checkus out at ,, www. and

Week of 11/27/11 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Marj, newest work camper at Desert Haven
This Christmas Season, The Sierra County Humane Society is asking local residents who own dogs and cats to insure that animals not fortunate enough to enjoy the comfort of their warm owners homes during the cold season be provided with especially warm bedding. It’s heartbreaking to see dogs chained in yards during all types of weather, with often no adequate shelter, if any at all. If you witness animal neglect, abuse or cruelty of any type, please immediately report it to Dispatch at 575-894-7111, whose job is to forward your information to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. Requesting a follow-up may help insure that action is taken and the animal protected or even removed from the situation. Companion animals are defenseless in the face of ignorance, stupidity, or cruelty and all of us who love animals are their voice.

At this time of the year and for the next few months, Desert Haven Animal Refuge is offering folks who wish to adopt a cat or kitten from the sanctuary the unique opportunity to pay only half of the adoption fee. This very thoughtful offer is being provided by an anonymous supporter of our sanctuary, who wants to give a Desert Haven feline an extra chance to spend the rest of his life in a loving home. Interested? Contact us at 894-1694.

Barbara and Don Heller regularly drop-off at the sanctuary a large bag of dog food and one of cat food. This past week, they also brought fresh catnip for our small army of felines. Your kindness is very much appreciated, Don and Barbara.

This winter, we especially need warm bedding of all types for our resident dogs and cats. Used bed pillows come in very handy. They are the perfect size to line each one of the more than 35 kitty condos in the Feline Dorm and other sleeping areas. They also fit very well inside our dog houses.

We need straw to help insulate the guinea pig and rabbit habitats, also the nesting boxes for the peacocks, doves, miniature hens and roosters. We need alfalfa, bird and sunflower seeds, also cracked corn to help feed the residents of Birdland. We need dog treats for our small dogs and very large bones for our largest canines. Desert Haven has an account at The Horsin’ Around Feed & Tack store in TorC. Folks interested in helping feed our residents are welcome to place their contribution into our Desert Haven Account.

For more information, call us at 575-894-1694 or 813-716-2033. Visit Desert Haven on Tuesday. Check us out at ,, and

Week of 11/20/11 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Carl and Rick discuss the Tuesday project
Every year, Desert Haven Animal Refuge celebrates Thanksgiving on the Tuesday before the traditional Thanksgiving Day. This year again, the DHAR team of volunteers and work campers shared in providing for everyone a traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey with all the trimmings, together with a congenial atmosphere.

We thank our animal loving friends who, this past week, dropped-off at P&C Thrift Shoppe bedding material to be distributed between the sanctuary resident dogs and cats. We also thank KCHS radio station for airing our appeal several times this past week- free of charge to our organization. With our current army of furry and feathered residents, our volunteers are always looking for bedding to keep everyone as warm as possible during the cold winter nights. We still need carpet remnants, small rugs, old blankets and flannel sheets, also old pillows which by the way fit perfectly well inside each feline individual condo. We collect them at P&C Thrift Shoppe, located across the alley from Family Dollar. Your donations should be brought inside P&C during business hours - from Wed through Sat every week, from 11 AM to 4 PM. This will keep them from disappearing in the hands of unsavory folks who make a habit of taking what is not theirs, wherever and whenever they see the opportunity.

The “Horsin’ Around Feed & Tack located on Broadway in TorC has an account opened for Desert Haven. It has been set up to help supporters of Sierra County’s No-Kill domestic animal sanctuary donate funds towards the costs of alfalfa, straw, bird seeds and cracked corn that we need to feed and keep warm the residents of Birdland & Animal House this winter. We also use straw to better insulate the large dog houses located inside the exercise yards in Dogtown. During the coldest winter nights, the dogs of Dogtown are moved inside the insulated Inn. The cats sleep inside the Feline Dorm. The cost of operating propane or electric heaters is almost prohibitive for our budget, so we are looking into alternatives to keep our fur-kids warm during the winter nights. Among our readers, perhaps there is someone who would help us with the information on how to purchase and install a wood burning stove.

Interested in helping us help unwanted domestic animals in some way? We need dog walkers at DHAR, especially during evening care which starts at 4 PM at this time of the year. We also need volunteers at P&C. Call us at 575-894-1694 or 813-716-2033 for more information. Check us out at: , and chat with us at and

Week of 11/13/11 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Linda and Carl are work camping this winter at Desert Haven
A sincere “Thank-You” is in order to the staff at White Sands Credit Union for choosing the Sierra County Humane Society as this year’s recipient of their generosity. It was very heartwarming to realize that all the hard work of the volunteers who make things happen at the non-profit animal welfare organization was being acknowledged in this very generous way.

The end of the year 2011 is quickly approaching. What could be a better time to reflect on all the support shown by local businesses to our animal welfare organization? Year after year, St Cloud mining routinely donates cat litter for an average of forty DHAR resident cats and kittens. Three mornings a week, we pick-up fresh veggies and fruits at Bullocks for the residents of Birdland & Animal House. It’s fun to watch our guinea pigs and rabbits munch with obvious pleasure on their large chef salads every morning. Each one of them has a favorite fruit or veggie and immediately looks for it in the middle of everything else and then savors it with obvious delight. Whoever said that rabbits and guinea pigs don’t have personality should visit their habitat at Desert Haven, when their breakfast of fresh produce is in front of them! The Bullocks’ Cash-for- Clubs program also provides our organization with much needed revenues to cover some of the costs of our SCHS sterilization program.

This year again, our organization received a generous contribution from Moose Lodge 2050 and American Legion Post 44. Thanks to Jared at Bar-2 Sand & Gravel, Desert Haven also received two loads of crusher fine which we immediately used to resurface some of the exercise yards in Dog Town. Wal-Mart donates pet food and cat litter on a regular basis and occasionally other needed items. At the end of the Summer Season, Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe received several boxes of brand new clothes and other items from Burke’s Outlet in TorC.

Our local media deserves recognition for printing this Humane Happenings article every week. The on-going support of the local newspapers is absolutely crucial to our small organization. To all the business who supported us this year: we thank you.

The cold nights are already here and warm bedding of all types for the dogs and cats and also bales of straw for the habitants of Birdland & Animal House are this week’s highest priority. Interested in helping the cause of companion animals in some way? We need volunteers at P&C and dog walkers at DHAR. Call us at 575-894-1694 or 813-716-2033 for more information. Check us out at: , and chat with us at and