Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Letter to the Editor re: Desert Haven Animal Refuge

NOTE: LINDA AND CARL WORK CAMPED AT DHAR through last fall and until January 15 of this year.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: In late October, my husband and I left the rainy metropolitan suburbs of Seattle, Washington, for an opportunity to volunteer as “work campers” at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, located a few miles from Williamsburg on Highway 187. Many retired seniors who own RVs volunteer to work for a specified number of hours each week in return for an RV parking spot. Since this was our first work camping experience, we had no idea of what to expect in an animal refuge, perhaps the typical steel cages and a sterile environment of some animal facilities. What a delight to find a place that lived up to the title of “haven and refuge”. Desert Haven has large, roomy areas for abandoned or abused animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens and peacocks. All animals are housed in spaces that have comfortable houses and furnishings appropriate for each species. Dogs can romp and play in their own yard or race about the acreage that is used during their daily walk. Cats roam about freely in Cool Cat Country with its large outdoor and indoor spaces filled with small privacy houses or cubbies, climbing apparatus, and high shelves. The animals receive nourishing food, plenty of exercise and caring, human contact. It has been a heartwarming experience to see the generous donations of food, bedding, and other necessities that arrive for the animals from a supportive community. Dedicated community volunteers help with all aspects of animal care and provide the animals with affection, as well as work at Paws and Claws, which supports the refuge. The beauty of Desert Haven’s location, the caring staff, the friendly volunteers and the warmth of the T or C and Williamsburg communities have created a never-to-be forgotten experience for us. Returning to Desert Haven as work campers will be on the top of our “bucket list”. Whether interested in adopting a pet, volunteering or just wanting time with the animals, it is worth your time to visit Desert Haven Animal Refuge on any Tuesday.

 Linda and Carl Schmidt
 Bothell, WA 98011

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