Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Week of 6/10/12 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Afternoon siesta under the shade of the young Mexican Elder tree donated by Cindy & Bob Gabriel of Illinois

The Dog Days of Summer have already arrived in our corner of the Desert Southwest and the residents of Desert Haven Animal Refuge are spending their time enjoying their daily siesta. Several long-time members of the Sierra County Humane Society were thoughtful enough a few years back, to cover the costs of semi-native shade trees such as Mexican Elders and Desert Willows that the DHAR team planted where shade was at a premium during the hot summer months. When we watch our little Vickie for example, laying under the small Mexican Elder planted several years ago inside her exercise yard, we remember with fondness the kind folks who made that shade tree possible: Cindy and Bob Gabriels of Illinois. Among other plants donated over the years by some of our supporters, including the SC Soil and Water Conservation District, the deciduous vine planted against the fence on the sunny side of the Lonesome Dove Hotel was a gift from Ardell a while back. A mentor for many of us who know her, Ardell is still an integral part of our organization. The gorgeous looking vine growing in the aviary has grown into a miracle green canopy that gives our feather residents all the shade they need in the summer.

Do you wish to give us a hand in some way? Save your Bullocks receipts for us. Every receipt you drop-off at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe results in $$ to our non-profit organization. We also collect aluminum cans. These past couple of years especially, the downslide of the economy has been a huge concern for our organization. The generous folks we depend on may be struggling financially themselves. Large and national animal welfare organizations like the Humane Society of the HS, and the ASPCA to name a few, have the financial resources to repeatedly appeal for funds from generous people in Sierra County and from throughout the entire country. Our tightly-budgeted organization does not have the resources to do this. Instead, we trust that Sierra County residents realize that donating to their local animal welfare organization allows them to see first-hand where their hard earned money goes.

 This week’s high priority wish list: canned cat food. Galvanized tubs for our resident dogs -they can be easily emptied, cleaned and refilled by just one person. Don’t throw away your used long-handle brushes or brooms. We recycle them to clean the cement floors in the animal and bird habitats. Large bottles of bleach and Odor-Ban are always welcome too.

Visit Desert Haven on Tuesdays, between 9 AM and 4 PM. Contact us at 575-894-2639 or at Check us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge and Write to us at POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Week of 6/2/12 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

This week, the Sierra County Humane Society is reminding local residents who contact the organization to relinquish their unwanted dogs or cats, that Desert Haven is a small non-profit sanctuary with very limited resources and our resources do not allow us to accept each and every unwanted pet one wishes to drop-off at the no-kill sanctuary.

 Because Desert Haven is No-Kill, all the little rescues that our volunteer staff has given a home to over the years have the opportunity to live the rest of their natural life in a safe and loving environment. As importantly, we insure that the environment we are providing for them is not crowded or, worse, over-populated. Unless DHAR dogs and cats are adopted out into their forever homes, they will not be killed simply to make room for others who may be considered by some as more adoptable. Consequently, until a resident dog or cat is adopted out, there is “No room at the Inn at Desert Haven”, literally.

 Here in our communities and the surrounding area, there is an over-abundance of “back yard breeders” who consider their animals an important source of revenues. The fact that these people contribute to the tragic local pet overpopulation does not seem to bother them in any way. According to the most recent statistics at Sierra Animal Shelter, over twenty thousand pounds of dog and cat carcasses are disposed of every year – an average of 2000 animals euthanized each year. How can local residents allow this status-quo to continue without wondering about their own humanity? The dead carcasses filling the city dump were once furry little ones whose only fault was to be unwanted- former toys no longer interesting, or worse yet, helpless animals who suffered greatly at the hands of their owners before being euthanized.

 If you plan to take into your household a dog or a cat, consider sterilization costs as a part of owning that animal. If you believe you can’t afford the surgery, then you can’t afford that animal after all. The current economy is affecting the Sierra County Humane Society like everyone else. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for our small volunteer organization to continue to cover the costs of the spay/neuter program that we have offered since 1991. Sierra County residents who can afford to have their pet sterilized should not apply for a SCHS rebate. After all, choices must now be made, and these people are making it even more difficult for someone who really needs the financial help - and may not get it - because there are simply not enough funds to go around in this economy.

Visit Desert Haven on Tuesdays, between 9 AM and 4 PM. Contact us at 575-894-2639 or at Check us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge and Write to us at POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Week of 5/25/12 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

 The Sierra County Humane Society was organized in the fall of 1989 by a small group of volunteers who wanted to make a difference in the lives of companion animals in Sierra County, especially at the city owned shelter which at the time was an antiquated building operating in a way a growing number of residents considered primitive and a disgrace. The handful of determined and resilient individuals-with-a-vision, who stood together to make a difference, worked hard for many months to create the incorporated, 501-C-3 non-profit charitable organization that everyone knows as the SCHS. The Sierra County Humane Society will be 23 years old in November of this year. Thanks to those few strong and determined individuals who stayed on board through thick and thin, huge and seemingly insurmountable hurdles were overcome along the way, as the small organization gained stability and momentum.

 In 1999, a 5 acre desert property was acquired and Desert Haven Animal Refuge, Sierra County No-Kill domestic animal sanctuary, became a reality. The mission of the animal welfare organization continues to be: Prevent cruelty to animals. Provide sanctuary to care for unwanted, abused, neglected and abandoned companion animals in Sierra County. Place animals into loving and caring homes. Create public education that increases the awareness of humane treatment and the necessity of spay-neuter of all companion animals. All of this unselfish Work-of-Love is being accomplished by volunteers. Contrary to what some uninformed individuals still claim, we are not funded by taxpayers or by any other organization, not even larger humane societies such as the Humane Society of the US or ASPCA. Each and every animal welfare organization throughout the entire country operates independently and must locate its own sources of funding. The SCHS operates with funds generated by minimal yearly membership fees, contributions from animal loving supporters, and through fundraising activities such as Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe.

 If you believe in the work that we do on behalf of companion animals-down-on-their-luck, join our efforts! If you can’t give some of your time either at Desert Haven or Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe, become a member of your local animal welfare organization. Donate locally, and you will be helping change the life of local animals in need!

 You can pick-up a membership form at P&C Thrift Shoppe when it is open for business, from 11am to 4 PM, Wednesday through Saturday. Visit Desert Haven on Tuesdays, between 9 AM and 4 PM. Contact us at 575-894-2639 or at Check us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge and Write to us at POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Week of 5/19/12 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe, located across the alley from Family Dollar in TorC, is the major source of income for the Sierra County Humane Society & Desert Haven Animal Refuge. We thank all our wonderful contributors for supporting us in this way throughout the year. A huge thank-you is in order for everyone who has a part in keeping it open four days a week, from 11 AM to 4 PM, Wednesday through Saturday. We are even open during the summer season when our volunteer crew is very small. Interested in giving a couple of hours of your time each week to help us keep P&C attractive and a fun place to shop? Let us know!

 Please save your Bullocks receipts for our animal welfare organization. We provide a container for them in several local places of business, including the TorC public Library, Williamsburg Post Office and P&C Thrift Shoppe. These receipts are a major source of revenues to help fund the organization’s spay-neuter program. They have been tallied by Josephine Gurnsey-Varnum since the program started years ago. Thanks, Josephine, for your loyalty to our organization.

 This week’s wish list: canned cat food and possibly some catnip. While canned cat food is served every morning as a breakfast treat to our feline fur-kids, some of them have so much fun around catnip. We especially wish to thank Mary Roden and Sel Bethel for regularly dropping off to Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe or bringing to the sanctuary on Tuesday several boxes of canned cat food at a time.

 Volunteer opportunities are available at Desert Haven Animal Refuge. Young people accompanied by adults are welcome to volunteer at the sanctuary. Aside from walking the canines as part of keeping in shape, the handy person can choose to make light repairs and upgrades as needed. We have small projects either on our DHAR wish list or in the planning stage. The Canine Cottage, Penthouse, Mutt Hut, Peace Pad, Puppy Club House and High Rise, all located in Dog Town, can use some sprucing up and a new paint job, along with some of the Kitty Condos inside the Cat Walks. Rainbow Bridge Pet Cemetery and the Old West Trail area would benefit from the extra help. Aside from raking some of the trails, light pruning and weeding are some of the tasks even young folks may enjoy as part of their Youth Group activities. In turn, the youth of our up-and-coming generation would also benefit from the principle of Community Service.

Visit Desert Haven on Tuesdays, between 9 AM and 4 PM. Contact us at 575-894-2639 or at Check us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge and Write to us at POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Week of 5/13/12 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

It’s springtime in Desert Country. At Desert Haven Animal Refuge, the Birds of Paradise, Desert Willows and Texas Sage are in full bloom. Birds are singing and building their intricate nests everywhere - sometimes in the oddest places. All the furry and feathered residents are cared for lovingly in their safe and peaceful habitats. Last Tuesday, several visitors commented on the scent of the Chaparral permeating the air throughout the sanctuary. Desert Haven is a spiritual place indeed.

This week, we wish to show our appreciation for all the support that we are receiving from our generous community, from places of business, large and small, to kind-hearted folks on fixed income. Bullocks Grocery Store donates fresh veggies and fruits that we serve in chef salad style every morning to our rabbits, guinea pigs, peacocks, doves, roosters and hens. Bullocks receipts that are collected for our organization help fund our spay-neuter program. Twice a year, Desert Haven receives kitty litter from St Cloud Mining, delivered all the way from Winston. Walmart’s routine contributions of pet food and other needed items are crucial to the success of our non-profit organization. Animas Creek Plant Nursery’s monthly contribution helps our organization’s tight budget go a little further. The crusher fine that Bar-2 delivers to Desert Haven every year is a huge help throughout the sanctuary grounds. Hodges Restaurant generously donates meal coupons for our work campers. James Bagwell CPA PA handles our organization’s yearly tax returns. This gives us peace of mind and a positive professional relationship with the IRS. Moose Lodge 2050, American Legion Post 44, several VFW posts, among other community-minded organizations, give us a helping hand when we appeal to them. Both local weekly newspapers are outstanding with their on-going support. Thanks to the local media, we are able to publicize the community services that we provide and the success of our on-going efforts to help make this little corner of the world a better place for all creatures who share the Earth with us. An organization such as ours is successful only if the community supports its work. We are extremely grateful for all the support that we receive. Every place of business and every single individual who, in their own way, show that our efforts and hard work are appreciated, go a long way to help companion animals down-on-their-luck. Our supporters are the “stamp-of-approval” that leads to our success. Thank-you, everyone!

Volunteer opportunities are available at Desert Haven and Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe. Contact us at 575-894-2639 or at Visit the sanctuary on Tuesdays, between 9 AM and 4 PM. Check us out at http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge and Write to us at POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Week of 4/29/12 humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

 For almost a year now, Barbara Teeter has been the administrative assistant for the Sierra County Humane Society, Inc. It is a volunteer position that she handles on Tuesdays. But this is not all Barbara has been doing as a service to the animal welfare organization and the community; Barb also shares Animal Care duties at Desert Haven two mornings a week and volunteers at Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe every Friday. On Tuesdays, when the no-kill sanctuary is open to the public, some of Barbara’s tasks consist of manning the office phone, greeting local and out-of-state visitors, giving tours and also handling the paperwork on both the Spay-Neuter and Adoption programs. Some months ago, when Barb started a part-time cashier’s job at Walmart, the management was very understanding and helpful when she requested for her work schedule not to interfere with her volunteer work. As a rule and for many months, Barb was given those specific times off from Walmart so she could continue her volunteer activities. Within the last few weeks, Barb’s new Walmart schedule no longer allows her to volunteer for our organization in the way she has done for the past year. We trust that this drastic change in scheduling is only temporary, as Barb is crucial to our animal welfare organization.

Until Barb is back in the DHAR office on Tuesdays, we urge all local residents planning to take advantage of the SCHS Spay-Neuter program to be understanding and patient. Our organization generously provides this service on a totally volunteer basis and we utilize the profits from several fundraising activities to cover its high and ever-growing costs. As clearly indicated on our S/N application forms, the rebates are not retroactive.

This week, we wish to thank the family of 42 years old Molly Hinkle who passed away recently. In memory of their animal loving sister, her siblings generously donated a large number of her household hand and electric tools to Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe.

Do you walk as part of your Healthy Living program? Walking with a dog on a leash is as enjoyable for a dog aficionado as it is for the little one being walked. Desert Haven has many canines of various sizes and breeds and they all look forward to their early morning walk. To walk a DHAR dog or care for our felines, one must be 18 or over or accompanied by an adult family member. Contact us at 575-894-2639 or at Drop by the sanctuary on Tuesdays, between 9 AM and 4 PM. Visit us at: http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge. Chat with us at Write to us at POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Week of 4/22/12 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

 Every year, the Sierra County Humane Society subscribes interested local elementary teachers to Kind News, (Kids in Nature’s Defense) a monthly newspaper sent directly to the schools in quantities large enough to distribute to each individual student in every participating classroom. This newspaper helps instill in young children a sense of responsibility towards others and the environment that surrounds them. If you are an elementary teacher or the parent of a child and you wish to receive this newspaper for a specific classroom, courtesy of the Sierra County Humane Society, please let us know before the end of this school year in order for the newspapers to start arriving in the classrooms in August, when a new school year begins.

Cat lovers, we need your support. Here at Desert Haven, we feed our kitties a mixture of canned and dry cat food every morning. It’s a routine that has worked for everyone in the Cool Cat Neighborhood and it keeps all our feline residents happy and looking forward to their daily breakfast. Of course they have dry food always available from the self-serve feeders, but canned food is so special!

We have a fence to build at the sanctuary. It’s only a small enclosure and most of the steel posts are already in place. We need one or two able-bodied folks to finish the job. Are you or anyone you know interested in volunteering at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe or Desert Haven this summer? Even only two hours commitments every week would do wonders at both places. Desert Haven is currently making available a Caretaker part-time position with compensation for a qualified couple or individual. Applications are available at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe during business hours - from Wednesday through Saturday, between 11AM and 4PM. The shop is located across the alley from Family Dollar in TorC. You can also pick-up an application directly from Desert Haven on Tuesday, from 9AM to 4PM.

For more information, contact us at 575-894-2639. If you reach the answering machine, please repeat your phone number - clearly. If you call regarding the position but your phone number is not clear or, worse yet, not-in-service at this time, we are unable to return your call. If you are one of the folks who did not get a call back, please call again. We can also be contacted at Visit us at: http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge. and Our 501-C-3 non-profit Sierra County Humane Society mailing address is, POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Week of 4/15/12 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

 Desert Haven was full of activity this past Tuesday. Gorgeous weather, energetic and up-beat volunteers, wonderful visitors who complimented us on how clean and inviting the habitats were and how interesting they found the sanctuary, with its Old West Flair and the colorful signs on every building and along the trails. Add to the setting several long-standing supporters who dropped-off pillows and accessories for the sanctuary’s fur-kids. Mix this with the atmosphere created by happy and healthy fur and feather residents, and you have the spiritual environment many visitors and volunteers make a point to comment on.

This week, a special thank you goes to Carolyn of Arrey. Carolyn made a point to spend the entire day last Tuesday, caring for all the kitties who reside inside the Cool Cat Neighborhood. She promises to come back every Tuesday to groom and spend quality time with them again. Then there is Linda, Desert Haven Animal Care Coordinator. She is now settled in her new home at the sanctuary and in her new position. Barb, DHAR Administrative Assistant, not only helps with animal care two mornings a week, but she also volunteers at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe every Friday. On Tuesdays, Barb is the receptionist at the sanctuary. Barb also works at WalMart. Terri works in the office every other Tuesday. She is the Sierra County Humane Society Treasurer and Desert Haven’s Financial Officer. Last Tuesday, Don, Casey, Shaye and Gordon were also volunteering at DHAR. Together with Eliana and Linda, they handled the spring cleaning at DogTown, the Feline Neighborhood and also the Feed Store.

This week’s wish list: canned cat food.  Cat lovers, we need your support – the help of a handyman with a couple of hours to give on Tuesday. A former DHAR work camping couple moved to the little town of Victoria in TX some time ago. Early this year, they answered our plea for canned dog food. Thanks to their generosity, we receive canned dog food and also dog treats every month, from Amazon and other pet food sources. We are grateful for their help and also for the help of several other dog loving folks, who help us with the costs of feeding our DHAR dogs. Volunteer opportunities are available at Paws & Claws and Desert Haven.

Contact us at 575-894-2639 or e-mail us at Visit us at: http://www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge. and Our 501-C-3 non-profit Sierra County Humane Society mailing address is, POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.