Thursday, November 20, 2014

Week of 11/16/14 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Deb with Violet & Penny
This week, we wish to thank each and everyone who quickly answered our appeal for CANNED DOG FOOD and who kindly dropped-off their donated bags of cans of dog food at Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe during business hours - Wednesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM. The response to our appeal has been heartwarming and we trust that we will continue to receive enough canned dog food each week to meet the needs of the residents of Dog Town. We still have a long way to go to replenish our empty CANNED FOOD cup-boards, with the Farmer’s Almanac’s prediction of an especially cold winter ahead of us.

We wish to also acknowledge the thoughtful folks and dependable local businesses who regularly donate dry dog and cat food. We can count on them, as they always come through for us. Kitty Aficionado Mary Roden, you are number one with us! Our local Walmart, the Sierra County Humane Society could not accomplish its mission without your on-going support. Canned dog food is now on our high priority wish-list.

Cheyenne and Maggie

Desert Haven recently took in six new, young and full-of-life doggie-fur-balls: Taz, Stumpy, Maggie, Penny, Violet and Cheyenne. Stumpy is a lucky boy indeed, as he melted someone’s heart soon after his arrival at the no-kill sanctuary. All our newly arrived canine residents are now also available for adoption. Every adoptee from our no-kill sanctuary, canine or feline, makes room to save another abandoned or unwanted companion animal.

Do you save Bullocks receipts for our organizations? Our collection boxes are located at Paws& Claws Thrift Shoppe, TorC public library and Williamsburg Post Office. We receive from Bullocks in TorC $2 per every $1,000 of tallied receipts. The generated funds help raise funds for our Spay-Neuter program. Josephine routinely tallies them for us. Lately she has picked-up stacks of them that were purposely cut-off. Once mutilated, Bullocks receipts are no longer accepted by Bullocks grocery store. When you drop-off Bullocks receipts for our organization, please leave them intact or they can’t be redeemed.

 This week’s wish list: Canned dog food. Transparent plastic bags of all sizes - we use them to display bedding, fancy linen and other specific items at the store. Plastic containers with or without their lids. Water hoses in good condition. Walker with collapsible seat. Contact us at 575.894.1694. E-mail us at Visit us at and and

Week of 11/2/14 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin
Dusty Cat aka Flipper

The Sierra County Humane Society is an energetic, active positive force in our community. Many well-intended groups of good-hearted local residents had tried over the years to establish themselves as animal welfare organizations. Time and time again, they failed and they gave-up. The Sierra County Humane Society was the first to succeed. It was organized in November 1989. Less than two years later, it was incorporated and it received its 501-c-3 non-profit status. We are now November 2014. Twenty-five years have passed since we organized in November 1989. Our success over the years is due to a lot of dedication, hard work and determination - and as importantly, because of the support of a generous and thoughtful animal loving community from all over the country. We are grateful to everyone, local and from out-of-the-area, who helps us make a difference for companion animals-in-need in our corner of the world.

Have you seen a blue heeler puppy wandering through your neighborhood? A family is looking for a missing puppy – Shelby -and very much wants to get that little one back. If you find that pup or know where you saw her last, please call us at 575-894-2639 or at 740-0791. Don’t hand her over to just anybody, simply because that individual claims the pup is his. This could be very dangerous for that defenseless fur-baby.

Interested in taking a young, small size, sterilized, very sweet female tabby into your home? The little one has lost her owner who passed away recently. Her front claws have been removed. She would make an ideal feline companion in a household with or without other felines. The little one is terrified of dogs, so we are looking for a kind human parent for her, someone without dogs. Genuinely interested in giving this little one a loving home? Contact us at 575-894-2639 or e-mail us at

Our top priority this week is CANNED DOG FOOD. Our Winter Canned Dog Food Storage is depleted. If you wish to help us out in some way, your contribution of CANNED DOG FOOD will be gratefully accepted at Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe during business hours only, or at Desert Haven on Tuesday, when the sanctuary is open to visitors. Check us out at and and

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Week of 10/25/14 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin


This week, the Desert Haven Animal Refuge team is appealing to our animal loving friends for their help in refilling the no-kill sanctuary's Winter Food Storage with much needed Dog and Cat CANNED FOOD. In fact, CANNED cat food is currently on our top priority list, to keep our fur-kids well fed throughout the winter season.

Every morning, we serve a mixture of canned & dry cat food to all our feline residents. They know the routine. It’s a very pleasant experience for our feline aficionados to watch them all get out of their individual condos and other favorite places as they gather around us to enjoy their daily breakfast.

Your contribution of canned pet food can be dropped off at Desert Haven on Tuesdays, when the sanctuary is open to visitors. You can also drop it off at Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe during business hours, 10 am to 4 pm Wed thru Sat.

Do you have transparent plastic bags of all sizes that we can use to display bedding, linen and other items at the store? Please also save your empty pet food bags for Desert Haven. We use them there. Speaking of our thrift store, if you have donations that you wish to benefit our organization in some way, please drop them off during business hours ONLY. There are unsavory folks around town who make a habit of taking what is not theirs, especially anything worthwhile that they see in front of Paws&Claws outside of business hours. What we find in front of the store by the time we open for business is what these folks didn’t feel worth taking with them at the time. The local law enforcement department is aware of this and we make a point to ask our friends and supporters, to report any suspicious activity they may see around our store outside of business hours. Contact dispatch at 575-7111 with as much information as possible and we will pursue the perpetrators to the full extent of the law. Enough is enough and we all should do our part to protect TorC businesses from the undesirable element who steals from them.

Contact us at 575.894.2639 or e-mail us at Visit us at and and

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week of 10/19/14 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

The Sierra County Humane Society has an effective program – the Adopt-a-Pet Referral program - that helps local residents place companion animals they no longer can care for from their home directly into a new home. The program offers a connection between individuals who need to place their companion animals into new homes and folks who wish to give a forever home to a non-longer-wanted little one. You can either connect with us at 575-894-1694, e-mail us at or bring your information to Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe. It will be forwarded to Joe, Desert Haven General Operations Coordinator. Joe and Eliana enter the information into an effective long-standing network, such as Petfinder, Facebook and, on the local level, this weekly column in both local newspapers. As importantly, let us know if you are looking to give a home to a little one. Most recent on our Adopt-a-Pet Referral list are young kittens needing a new home – one is a tabby, the other is grey. Also someone is looking for a puppy or a young adult, preferably a Healer or Australian Shepherd. Interested? Contact us.

Your contributions, large or small, of CANNED dog & cat food are crucial to get us into the colder season. We also welcome donations of large bottles of Clorox, Odorban and diswashing liquid, also tall kitchen bags, large black bags, paper towels and other paper products. We always need extra helpers at Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe, any time between 10 AM and 4 PM, Wed through Saturday. Can you contribute at least 2 hours of your time each week? Let us know. Joyce has been a dependable volunteer at Paws & Claws since she moved to the community early this year. She is leaving the country to relocate close to her family in Australia. We wish Joyce the very best as she undertakes this next chapter in her life in the next couple of weeks.

Contact us at 575.894.2639 or e-mail us at Visit us at and and

Thank you, David White, for sharing with us this very appropriate quote of Kalu Ndukwe Kalu:  

“The things you do for yourself are gone, but the things you do for others are your legacy”

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Week of 10/5 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

 First and foremost, the volunteers at Desert Haven Animal Refuge wish to acknowledge the several anonymous donations of pet food kindly left on the bench at the entrance of DogTown this past Tuesday. We didn’t get your names but we sincerely appreciate your thoughtfulness. As importantly, we also appreciate the pet food and treats that we often find inside the donation box at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe in TorC.

Lance and a buddy

  Cat treats are especially welcome these days. Lance Hoffman and his family recently moved back to TorC. Soon afterwards, the entire family started to help out at the sanctuary. Lance currently spends every Tuesday connecting with and giving special attention to each and every feline inside the Cool Cat neighborhood. Lance’s genuine affection for all felines, his unending patience - together with the tasty treats he distributes to them - are making him very popular inside the feline neighborhood.

It’s been several weeks now since the Sierra County Humane Society sent its membership renewal letter to members and supporters from all over. Thanks to the modern cyber world, we now have supporters and well-wishers from across the entire country, from California to Maine, Oregon to Florida. Over the years, our animal welfare organization and Desert Haven Animal Refuge, the no-kill domestic animal sanctuary that operates under its 501-c-3 non-profit umbrella, have received acknowledgement and positive reinforcement from all over the country. Animal lovers from everywhere are slowly starting to recognize that small organizations like ours are usually extremely under-funded, mostly because they can’t advertise as effectively as large, well-funded and consequently well-known regional and national organizations. Our team of volunteers work “in the trenches” with very limited resources. Your financial help is crucial and immensely appreciated. Please send your contribution where you know it will be most effective in directly helping animals-in-need.

 Winter is approaching; Your contributions of canned dog & cat food are crucial. Our wish list includes: tall kitchen bags, large black bags, paper towels and other paper products. Also large bottles of Clorox, Odorban and dishwashing liquid. We need helpers at Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe, Wed through Sat between 10 AM and 4 PM. Contact us at 575.894.2639 or e-mail us at Visit us at and and

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Week of 9/27/14 Humane Happenings

 by Eliana Aubin

Lois Reaver-Black

 Lois Reaver-Black passed away a few days ago. With the passing of this Grand Lady, our area has lost one of its most active community-minded individuals who, until Time took its toll several years ago and Lois was forced to slow down, was also a very productive and highly respected member of our community. Lois will be remembered by all who knew her as a remarkable lady who left this world a little better, a little kinder because she was in it.

On a Tuesday morning several years ago, Desert Haven received a surprise visit from Lois and Chet. Freddie, who was at the time the official Tour Guide at the sanctuary, gave her and Chet the “Grand Tour of the facility. When it was over and before Lois & Chet got back into their vehicle, she kept saying “It’s a really beautiful place here! I had no idea! And it’s so clean and it smells so nice! And it’s very quiet and peaceful!” She added “I expected a lot of barking and a lot of noise. I am truly surprised and very pleased at how nice everything looks and how clean and peaceful it all is”. Before she left, she added” This place is worth supporting. People in town need to know. “ True to her word, Lois made a point to share with the readers of her next weekly newspaper column, her very positive experience while visiting Desert Haven that Tuesday.

Lois, this corner of the world is a little better now, because you were in it. Our deep appreciation goes to Lois and also to her family for inviting everyone who knew her and loved her to made donations to the Sierra County Humane & Desert Haven Animal Refuge in lieu of flowers. Lois, even in death, you continue to give to the community that you loved so very much.

 We continue to need canned dog & cat food, also tall kitchen bags, 30 gallons trash bags, paper towels and other paper products. We also need helpers at Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe and Desert Haven. Contact us at 575.894.2639 or e-mail us at Visit us at and and

Week of 9/20/14 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

 This week, the Sierra County Humane Society wishes to thank Burkes’ Outlet in TorC, for donating – and delivering - to Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe a number of much-needed clothes racks in excellent condition. Over the years, Burke’s Outlet continues to be generous to our organization in a variety of ways, and we sincerely appreciate it. We also thank the friendly-gentleman-with-a-truck who stopped at Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe during business hours sometime last week and dropped-off half-a-dozen of large – much needed - Clorox bottles to be used at Desert Haven.

 A friendly reminder to our local and out-of-town animal loving friends: When you shop at Bullocks Grocery Store in TorC, save your Bullocks’ receipts for our organization. These receipts, when tallied and redeemed, mean “dollars” for our community-minded programs. Please either send them to us at POB 638, Williamsburg, NM, 87942, or drop them off directly at Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe located adjacent to the TorC Family dollar. You can conveniently deposit them any time during the week through a slot labeled “Bullocks Receipts”, located at the drop-off box in front of the store. Bullocks donates to our 501-C-3 non-profit organization $2 for each thousand dollars of redeemed receipts! The funds we receive from Bullocks go towards the Spay-Neuter and Spay-a-Stray programs, both are effective signature programs of our organization. This comprehensive sterilization program is available to Sierra County residents who need some financial help to get their companion animal sterilized. Want to learn more? Contact us 575-894-1694 and leave a message with your phone number. We will return your call within a few days.

This week’s wish list: Canned dog & cat food – Tall kitchen bags - 30 gallons trash bags - paper towels and other paper products - Pecans which we place routinely in the doves’ nests inside our large aviaries. They comfort our resident doves while keeping them from reproducing – We also need helpers at Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe and Desert Haven. Contact us at 575.894.2639 or e-mail us at Visit us at and and

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Week of 9/1/14 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

“Hi there! Some of you may not know me but you might have seen me running back-and-forth around town. I am the “IM4PETS” Toyota work-truck. I have been working hard for the Sierra County Humane Society for over 25 years. I am pretty old now of course, a little on the decrepit side in some ways, but still running strong and dependable.

I am a hard working little truck, a one-person truck. I don’t let anyone drive me except my owner. She is the one that gases me up, changes my oil, buys me new tires, and covers me with insurance in case I get hurt. She does all of this out of her own pocket. Nobody else but her. Not even the non-profit organization I volunteer for pays for any of this.

 For the last 25 years now, I have moved mountains, literally – mountains of dirt, refuse, but also furniture and bags and boxes of donations of all types. I do all of this for Desert Haven Animal Refuge and also Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe, which helps supports the Sierra County Humane Society. When parked at Paws & Claws waiting for my owner who volunteers there from opening to closing time several times a week, I get loaded with all sorts of donations needed at Desert Haven, such as office supplies, pet food, also bedding for the furry and feathered residents who live there. By the end of each work day, I have done my part. I do this because it needs to get done and I am needed. I do this because I am the only truck available and also willing to do what needs to be done without asking for any compensation of any type.

Every year for the past 25 years, I have accumulated thousands and thousands of miles, all of them in the service of the Sierra County Humane Society.

So if you see a faded white, over-loaded 1988 Toyota Pick-up truck with the “IM4PETS” license plate driving around town, just know it’s me, and I will keep doing what I am doing as long as I can still roll. "

This week’s wish list: Canned dog food, volunteers at Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe and Desert Haven. Contact us at 575.894.1694 or 575.894.2639 or e-mail us at Visit us at and and

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Week of 7/13/14 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Trying hard to please
 Desert Haven Animal Refuge enjoyed the visit of several local individuals last Tuesday, including a couple looking to adopt a young Dachshund mix, either from our sanctuary or our Adopt-a-Pet Referral program. Desert Haven has been home to two Chi-Weenies-with-Personality for a couple of years now - Sandy and Daisy. Our goal is to adopt them out together. They have been together their whole life and our Desert Haven staff would find it cruel to let one move on to a new home, leaving the other little one behind without her life-long companion. Call Desert Haven at 575-894-1694 for more information.

Interested in adopting a 2 years old, sterilized female Bobtail cat? This little one desperately needs a new forever home. Call the owner at 575-894-0162.

Did you watch Channel 4 News a couple of evenings ago? Some deadbeat was caught on camera, stealing from donations bins outside of a Goodwill Store in Albuquerque. Over time, he had accumulated enough stolen property to be charged with a fourth degree felony. Justice at last! Here in Sierra County, the work of our animal welfare organization is supported entirely through the donations of our members. Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe, located adjacent to Family Dollar in TorC, is an integral part of that support. The profits from the sale of items at the store benefit the entire community, through programs that would not be available otherwise. So when someone is caught ( photos will help) stealing either from inside the donation box or from donated items deposited after hours in front of Paws&Claws or from inside the store during business hours, that person is prosecuted to the full extent of the law. If you have information you wish to share with us on this, contact us at 575-894-2639 or at

Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe and Desert Haven Animal Refuge need volunteer helpers this summer. Our wish list also includes several heavy duty 50 ft long water hoses, large bottles of Clorox bleach and Odorban, also remnant of indoor-outdoor carpet.

Visit us at, also and You can also visit Desert Haven any Tuesday, between 9 AM and 4 PM.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Week of 7/6/14 Humane Happenings

by Eliana C. Aubin


Bonnie Waters, a life-long resident of Truth or Consequences, recently passed away in Las Cruces. Bonnie’s daughter - Colleen Pullen – lives in Las Cruces. She had just moved her mother there to better care for her medical needs. Animals were a very important part of Bonnie’s life. To honor her memory, her family requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Desert Haven Animal Refuge, where several of her fur-kids were adopted from. Bonnie Waters’ love for animals is being recognized in a way that allows her to leave a legacy of kindness even long after her passing.

The work of the Sierra County Humane Society & Desert Haven Animal Refuge is supported entirely through the donations of our members and friends of animals. Through the generous hearts and hands of people like Bonnie, her daughter Colleen and all the kind folks who support our efforts, we can ensure that animals who come into the care of Desert Haven will never again be alone, hungry, sick, afraid or in pain.

Why take exercise so seriously when it can be fun? What’s wrong with “fetch” or “chase”? At Desert Haven, we have canines who would love nothing more than become an integral part of your routine exercise schedule. At this time of the year, morning animal care starts at 7:30 every morning and lasts until 10:30AM.

Aside from volunteer help, this week’s wish list includes several heavy duty water hoses, large bottles of Clorox bleach and Odorban, also remnant of indoor-outdoor carpet. We are actively looking for a good used refrigerator. The one inside the kitchen at Desert Haven was already old when donated many years ago. It no longer cools efficiently and soon will be a thing of the past. Can you help?

Contact us at 575-894-1694 or 894-2639. Visit us at, also and You can also visit Desert Haven any Tuesday, between 9 AM and 4 PM.

Week of 6/29/14 Humane Happenings

by Eliana C. Aubin
Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe Management Team

It’s especially hot and dry this summer in our Desert Southwest. The wonderful birds that visit our yards will appreciate that we keep our bird baths filled with fresh water at all times. Our companion animals suffer as we do. They need us to provide for them a continuous supply of fresh, cool water and especially plenty of shade when they spend time outside our homes. Shame on the folks who keep their dog tied in their yard, most especially at this time of the year. If you see a dog outside, either tied up or in an enclosure, without an adequate - and easily accessible - supply of fresh water or shade, contact Dispatch at 575-894-7111. Request for the Animal control Officer on duty to investigate. Also ask for that ACO to call you back and let you know that the problem has been solved. It will make you feel more at ease to know that you – and the ACO – have made a difference in the life on that specific animal. It is unacceptable that some folks keep their dog tied outside in this heat, and also unacceptable that many neighbors or “friends” refuse to ‘get involved” because of “possible retaliation”. When animals suffer needlessly, it is our moral duty to speak out. We are their voice after all. And who will protect them if we don’t?

We understand you mean to be kind in taking your dog with you shopping. But you could be risking his or her life when you do so. On an 85* day for example, even with the windows slightly open, the inside of a car can climb to 102* in 10 minutes, to 130* in 30 minutes. Just think how unbearably hot your car quickly becomes when the temperature is 100* outside. Keep your dog at home when you go shopping, it’s the kindest thing you can do for him or her. If your dog is overcome by heat exhaustion, immediately soak him or her down with water and take to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Want to know more about our animal welfare organization? Visit us at, also and Contact us at 575-894-1694 or 894-2639 or e-mail us at You can also visit Desert Haven any Tuesday, between 9 AM and 4 PM. Thank you all for your support.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Week of 6/21/14 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Mary Jo and Denny sort through donations to Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe

 Summer is here! At this time of the year, Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe and Desert Haven Animal Refuge are experiencing their seasonal dilemma: the need for new volunteers through July and August. Our animal welfare organization routinely networks with other local non-profit agencies and everyone shares the same dilemma: not enough volunteer helpers. This is the time of the year when local folks enjoy vacation with family and friends, week-end outings at the lake, camping trips in the Gila Wilderness. Consequently, new helpers at currently needed, both at Desert Haven and Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe in TorC.

Want to know more about us? Visit us at, also and Contact us at 575-894-1694 or 894-2639. You can also visit Desert Haven any Tuesday, between 9 AM and 4 PM. You are welcome to stay for our Tuesday “Breaking Bread” Pot Luck lunch at 1 PM. If you prefer to volunteer at Paws&Claws, visit during business hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 10-4PM. We are also open the first and second Tuesday of every month. Eliana (P&C manager) and Denny (P&C Assistant manager) make an exceptionally strong team. Their team effort at the store is finally showing.

Paws&Claws sincerely appreciates the business of a variety of routine customers from all over, including Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Las Cruces and El Paso. Our store is fortunate to also attract out-of-state travelers who are visiting our area. We must be doing something right indeed, when these worldly and often very selective customers give our store such good scores about our customer service, the variety of the items we sell and, as importantly, our bargain prices. When these customers find out where the P&C profits go, they are even more supportive.

This week’s wish list: stringed tags /pricing labels and safety pins to use at P&C; At the sanctuary: Large bottles of Odorban; Heavy duty Shop Vac in good working condition; Leaf blower – preferably gas operated; Remnants of indoor-outdoor carpet for our current Cool Cat Neighborhood project. Thank-you all for your continued support.

Week of 6/15/14 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Wild Goose Rd. at Desert Haven

For a number of years now, the Sierra County Humane Society (SCHS) has raised funds in many ways to benefit its Spay-Neuter and Spay-a-Stray programs. The SCHS “Pennies for Pets” program is managed by Josephine. She routinely collects donations from our organization’s Doggie Banks located in several local businesses. Tim manages the collection of Aluminum cans which are deposited in the “Can Corral” located next to Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe in TorC. Tina and her husband Randy have recently volunteered to help Tim transport and redeem the cans as needed.

Your Bullocks receipts can bring much needed funding for our organization’s Spay-Neuter program! Save them and ask your friends to save them too! You can drop them off at Paws&Claws, either inside the shop or through the special “Bullocks Receipts” slot located on the front of the large P&C Donation Box. We also have collection boxes at the Williamsburg Post Office and the TorC Public Library. For every bundle of one thousand dollars worth of Bullocks receipts tallied by Josephine, our home-town Grocery Store donates $2 to our organization. It adds up and our Spay-Neuter program benefits greatly from the generous contribution Bullocks routinely makes in this way to our non-profit organization.

A young, smart, housetrained female blue heeler needs a new home. She is sterilized and her shots are up to date; Call 575-497-0310. Lydia at 575-740-3496 needs to find a good home for several black-white kittens. A very small terrier and a young Jack Russell need a new home; Call Cassie at 575-740-5310. A pair of peacocks is available for adoption at Desert Haven; Call 575-894-1694 or contact us at Adoptapet4life@gmail for more information.

This week’s wish list for the sanctuary: heavy duty Shop vacuum in good working condition; leaf blower – preferably gas operated; several remnants of indoor-outdoor carpet for one of our Cool Cat Neighborhood’s priority projects.

Check-out our web site at Chat with us on and also Facebook pages. Desert Haven is open to visitors every Tuesday, between 9AM and 4 PM.

Wek of 6/8/14 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Eliana Aubin and furry friend

The Sierra County Humane Society operates the Adopt-a-Pet Referral program. It is geared to help out residents of Sierra County who need to give up a companion animal, but hesitate in dropping-off their beloved dog, cat or bird at the T or C City Shelter located on Date Street.

This is how it works: folks who need to give-up a companion animals have the opportunity to be placed in direct contact with others who would like to adopt a specific companion animal or bird directly from the owner. As always, we remind the animal owners to carefully screen anyone wanting to take the animal off their hands. After all, it is public knowledge that too many unscrupulous individuals are traveling throughout our state and beyond in search of “Free to Good Home” dogs and cats. The companion animals obtained in this way are often sold for profit to Research Labs in and around our state. Just as tragic, others end-up at the hands of Dog Fighters. They are used as Bait Dogs to help train Pit Bulls to kill. Let’s not fool ourselves: Dog fighting - although illegal – is still anchored right here in Sierra County.

Through our organization’s Adopt-a-Pet Referral program, we publicize the information on both our Facebook pages at and, also in our weekly Humane Happenings article, generously printed by this newspaper. We also post it on our Desert Haven Petfinder page. As always, we keep that information handy whenever someone inquires with our organization about adoptable animals or birds. Contact us at 575-894-1694 or e-mail us at

Several very young black-white kittens need a home. If interested in adopting one or a couple of them, contact Lydia at 575-740-3496. Perhaps you prefer to adopt a very small terrier, or a young adult Jack Russell. Contact Cassie at 575-740-5310. Do you have a large aviary or a fenced area safe from predators? We have a pair of young adult peacocks available for adoption. Contact us at 575-894-1694.

This week’s wish list: Heavy duty Shop Vacuum in good working condition. Leaf blower – preferably gas operated. Indoor-outdoor carpet remnants.

A huge thank-you goes to Camille of Florida, for maintaining our professional looking web site since 2006.

Week of 5/24/14 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Kitties new toy
The mission of the Sierra County Humane Society is to protect and care for the abandoned and mistreated companion animals of Sierra County. When we expect it the least and need it the most, Good Fortune usually finds a way of landing on our doorstep.

The Sierra County Humane Society has received a huge boost recently. It is generally difficult for any non-profit organization to find volunteer help. It is even more difficult to find quality volunteers and experienced professional staff. The bulk of the work we do depends on a capable and caring but non-professional volunteer staff. It is a rare bonus to receive volunteers who have a background in the Animal Welfare profession. This fortunate situation is where we are finding ourselves in. With the arrival of two very qualified individuals who recently moved to Desert Haven from Tucson AZ, we currently have an excellent quality staff made up of both back-ground and non-background Animal Welfare people.

Are you interested in adopting a young, very small Terrier mix? Perhaps you prefer to give a loving home to a young adult Jack Russell mix? Contact Cassie at 575-740-5310. Cassie is moving and can no longer keep her little ones. Through our organization’s Adopt-a-Pet Referral program, we connect individuals who need to find a new loving home for their companion animals with those who would like to adopt one. Contact us at 575-894-1694 or e-mail us at

Check our updated web site at Chat with us at:, and

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Week of 5/17/14 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin  

At this time of the year, Desert Haven Animal Refuge and the Sierra County Humane Society are transitioning into their routine summer schedule. Indeed, life is going at a slower pace at the sanctuary. The seasonal helpers at Desert Haven and Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe have already moved back to their home states up-North. Local folks who help out on a long-term basis spend much of the summer attending family business or enjoying vacations which more often than not take them out of the area for weeks at a time. During the hot summer months, there are also fewer visitors at the sanctuary. There are fewer adoptions too. It does not make the work-load any less. If anything, with the heat, both at the sanctuary and Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe in TorC, fewer volunteers available translate into more work for a skeleton staff. Regardless, the sanctuary’s furry and feather residents continue to receive the daily care and attention that they require, no matter what.

The Sierra County Humane Society is formally registered with the IRS as a 501-C-3 non-profit charitable organization dedicated to the welfare of animals. Since 1989, we have earned our exemplary reputation through the selfless efforts of many caring volunteers and work-campers, some of whom have come and gone throughout the years. Some of our strongest supporters are reputable home-town businesses who know us and the work we do. Year after year, we continue to be true to our mission of caring for the abandoned and mistreated companion animals of Sierra County.

Thank you, Camille, for maintaining our web site, all the way from your home state of Florida. Your busy career as an RV Sales Consultant for Camping World of Bartow in Florida leaves you with very little free time. Still, you manage to donate some of it to our cause. Over the eight years of your involvement with us as our web master, you have stayed true to your word; year after year, you continue to do what you can to help us help companion animals in our area. You are indeed a remarkable individual, Camille!

Contact us at 575-894-1694, 894-2639 or at Chat with us at:, and

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Week of 5/11/14 Humane Happenings

Jmes Bagwell, CPA, works on Sierra County Humane Society taxes
 by Eliana Aubin

This week, The Sierra County Humane Society & Desert Haven Animal Refuge acknowledge once again a very supportive community. James Bagwell is a CPA with a busy office in TorC.
Year after year, Mr. Bagwell handles our animal welfare organization’s tax returns, completely free-of-charge to us.


Atty. John Wheeler at work
Attorney John Wheeler is an equally valuable asset to our organization. We rely on his legal expertise, which he provides to us as needed, also pro-bono. The guidance and services from well-respected professionals such as CPA James Bagwell and Attorney-at-law John Wheeler have been invaluable over the years. We are indeed extremely grateful to count them as some of our organization’s strongest long-term supporters.

Good news about Gummy Bear “Aka Gumbo”, the young female Chihuahua rescued some months ago from a vehicle discarded in a wrecking yard. After several months of rehabilitation at the sanctuary, the little one was fostered by Beth, a TorC winter resident at the time. When Beth recently returned to her home state of Minnesota, Kendall, another winter resident, took Gumbo under her wings and will soon finalize the paperwork to adopt her before returning home.

Desert Haven is known by many to be a spiritual place. Those who share the good work that is accomplished there every day often tell us that they see Desert Haven as a place that is good for the soul. Most of our little rescues arrive with scars, both physical and emotional. Here at the sanctuary, they are treated with kindness, patience, compassion and respect at all times. Theses innocent creatures deserve no less. Our little Gumbo was obviously surrounded by guardian angels. Tim discovered her and rescued her, and Beth took her in her home and furthered her rehabilitation by caring for her with patience and compassion.

Animal loving work-campers and winter residents will slowly return to our area and help out again at Desert Haven next Fall. Until then, we need the help of adult individuals at the sanctuary and at Paws&Claws. Contact us at 575-894-2639 or e-mail us at Chat with us at:, and

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Week of 4/27/14 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Donated food comes in
 This week, the Sierra County Humane Society wishes to acknowledge the generosity of SunValley Hardware and of Horsing ‘Round Feed and Tack store, located in TorC. Both businesses recently contributed several bags of pet food to our organization. We are indeed grateful to all the local businesses that help us out in some way or another throughout the year. Our acknowledgement includes the local media. Both local newspapers kindly publish our “Humane Happenings” articles every week. These articles give our organization the opportunity to share with our animal loving friends, local and from out-of-town, the good news about Sierra County’s animal welfare organization and its no-kill domestic animal sanctuary, Desert Haven Animal Refuge. We are a small but very active community-minded organization dedicated to the welfare of companion animals in our area. What we accomplish with our limited resources definitely makes a difference in the lives of companion animals in Sierra County.

 Are you a bird-lover? Then come on down some Tuesday and spend time among our domesticated ring-neck and white doves and also our peacocks. They love sunflower seeds, so bring some with you and you will certainly enjoy watching them all around you and fly right up to you to eat this delicacy, sometimes directly from your hands.

To all our thrifty shoppers: we are adding another business day to Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe. Our regular business days have been Wed through Saturday 11AM to 4 PM. The first and second Tuesday of each month, Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe will also open for business from 11AM to 4 PM. We continue to need volunteers at the store, to help keep the store attractive and our customers happy.

At Desert Haven, volunteers are also needed on Tuesdays, anytime between 8 AM and 4 PM. We need someone to greet our Tuesday visitors and handle routine paperwork and our phone line, walk some of our canines and groom our felines. On Tuesdays, we also need someone to sort through, tag and price sewing, knitting and craft items that are then displayed at Paws & Claws.

 Contact us at 575-894-2639 or at

Check us out at,, and

Week of 4/20/14 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Gummy Bear

Gummy Bear “Aka Gumbo” is a young female Chihuahua rescued by a member of the Sierra County Humane Society and active Desert Haven Animal Refuge volunteer. Tim discovered the starving and frightened puppy by accident this past winter. She had been abandoned inside a vehicle discarded in a salvage yard on the outskirts of Albuquerque. It took Tim much effort, determination and patience over several weeks to trap the little one, to save her from a slow and certain death and give her a new lease-on-life at Desert Haven. Several weeks later, Beth, a local winter resident, volunteered to foster little Gumbo until adoption or until Beth returned to her home state up-North. Beth is returning home for the summer in a few days. Gumbo desperately needs a new foster mom or a Forever Home. Contact us at 985-640-4116 or

This week’s wish list: someone to donate time and/or material to help us lay several 3 to 4 ft square cement slabs inside the fenced outdoor Cat Walk. Our resident felines would appreciate the luxury of new areas to snooze their days away. Our volunteer team would also very much appreciate the new & improved, easy-to-clean cement flooring in parts of the Cat Walk.

Interested in helping get this project off the ground? You can send your contribution earmarked for the “Cat Walk Cement Project” at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942. Do you prefer to give us a hand by donating your services? Let us know at 575-894-2639 or We need your help to see this project through, one cement slab at a time.

Charlotte and Gerald will soon be moving on from Desert Haven where they work-camped since spring 2013. This wonderful, hard-working couple has made many, many friends in this little corner of the world. Both will be sorely missed. At this time of the year, Desert Haven and Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe are also losing the dependable help from several local winter residents. Until late summer and early fall, when our sanctuary winter work-campers and seasonal Sierra County residents return, we need several adult individuals to give us a helping hand for at least a couple of hours a week, either at the sanctuary or at Paws&Claws. Contact us at 575-894-2639.

Check us out at,, and

Week of 4/13/14 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

This week, the Sierra County Humane Society wishes to remind friends and supporters that we collect aluminum cans in the Can Corral located adjacent to Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe in TorC. When the cans are redeemed, the funds generated are earmarked for the organization’s Spay-Neuter program. Tim Boswell, you are a gem! You take time out of your own very busy schedule to routinely load the bags of empty aluminum cans on your trailer and you redeem them locally for our organization.

Over time, too many local people have obviously failed to realize that the purpose of the SCHS Spay-Neuter program initiated in 1990 was always to give a helping hand to low-income companion animal owners, low-income only. It was never intended to hand-out free spay-neuter rebate certificates to anybody and everybody who wanted to take advantage of it.

All else aside, it’s an expensive program that we can only offer based on our limited resources. This is not a government program. The money to pay for it is generated by a very small group of hard-working volunteers. These selfless volunteers sacrifice their precious time - and much more - just to keep it alive. They strongly believe that sterilization is the way to go if we are going to decrease the tragedy of pet overpopulation in this area. They don’t just talk the talk. They do something about it.

For years, ever since 1990, we weren’t so careful about screening those who wanted to utilize the program. Consequently, it drained our resources, so we have had to ensure that only lower income people had access to it. For more information on how you can help keep it alive by supporting it in some way, contact our organization at 575-894-1694 or e-mail us at

At this time of the year and until they return next Fall, the Sierra County winter residents who have generously donated their time to our animal welfare cause by helping at Paws&Claws and at the sanctuary are moving back to their respective states. We need helpers to replace them at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe and Desert Haven Animal Refuge. Do you genuinely love animals? Do you want to help us help them in this part of the Desert Southwest? Then contact our volunteer coordinator team at 575-894-2639.

Check us out at,, and

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Week of 4/6/14 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Forest gets a bath and a hug from Charlotte
This week, we wish to thank a very special plant-lady who wants to remain anonymous. Every spring since Paws&Claws opened for business some years ago, this generous green-thumb brings to the store, every week, a variety of home-grown cactus, succulents and other interesting plants to help raise funds for the Sierra County Humane Society & Desert Haven Animal Refuge.

Paws&Claws is currently recruiting several volunteers to help out at the Shoppe during business hours, from 11 AM to 4PM Wed through Sat. Until they leave the area in a few weeks, Kendall and Charlotte are on hand at the shop to train dependable individuals who would like to get involved for at least a couple of hours each week. We also need help at the sanctuary from 8 to 11 am any morning of the week, when dogs are fed and walked and cats and birds are cared for.

Welcome to our volunteer team, Jodi, Steve & Joyce! These folks very recently relocated to our area. Their decision to answer our plea and to volunteer their time on some of the days the need is at its greatest is commendable. This is the time of the year when Desert Haven and Paws&Claws must rely even more on local helpers to help make a difference in this little corner of the world.

Interested in perhaps getting involved in a worthwhile cause? Visit Desert Haven on a Tuesday morning. Join our team for a while. Plan to take part in the Pot Luck lunch that our volunteers share every Tuesday at 1 PM. Then decide for yourself if this environment is for you!

This week’s wish list: Bottles of Clorox, Odorban, dishwashing liquid, short and long handle cleaning brushes – also the funds to cover the costs of several bags of cement or quickcrete – transparent plastic bags of various sizes for us to use as a temporary protection for the bedding, blankets, etc., that we sell at P&C. We recycle all of them over and over again - We can be reached at 575-894-2639 or Check us out at,, and

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

1st week of April; Humane Happenings

Vickie loves her Tuesday afternoons in the office
 by Eliana Aubin

What initiate a small non-profit organization in a small rural community, such as the Sierra County Humane Society, are the efforts of a few local citizens with a vision. That’s what gets it off the ground! That is also what makes it work on a daily basis. What sustains it in the long haul, however, are a few individuals who don’t participate in the day-to-day operation but who share the vision. And it’s through their contributions, be it material or financial, that the organization survives. Now having said this, anonymous people who make such great contributions that nobody knows about are to be recognized. We, the leadership of the Sierra County Humane Society & Desert Haven Animal Refuge, wish to recognize them, not by name because they request to remain anonymous, but by their actions, by their deeds. Contributions from such generous and selfless individuals help with feeding the animals and with veterinary care. They also help with essential physical structures, also with equipment and supplies that are all needed to run the operation and keep the property in good state of repair.

Afternoon siesta in the Cat Patio

These people honor us. We as an organization have a vision. That vision is to protect and care for neglected, abandoned, abused, unwanted dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs, rabbits, and other helpless little creatures as if they were our own. Not everybody shares this vision. Not everybody feels this compassion. But the people who have greatly contributed to our organization over the years do share this vision, do share this compassion. They have visited with us, they have seen what we do and they believe enough in us to unequivocally give of themselves in the way they know will help most at the time. This is what makes it an honor for us. They honor us. And through this article, we want to honor them although they selflessly wish to remain anonymous.

This week’s wish list: volunteers at Desert Haven and Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe. We routinely need large bottles of Clorox and Odorban and long handle cleaning brushes for our sanctuary. We need large transparent plastic bags , also the funds to cover the costs of several bags of cement or quickcrete to build a handicap ramp at Paws&Claws. We can be reached at 575-894-2639 or For more information, check us out at,, and

Week of 3/22/14 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin
A visit with Gumbo

What a busy week we had at Desert Haven Animal Refuge! And what an interesting day last Tuesday! Several out-of-town visitors and potential adopters were given the tour of the facility by Kendall, Charlotte and Beth. Gumbo, the Chihuahua recently rescued from an out-of-the-way salvage yard in Albuquerque and currently fostered by Beth, spend most of the day at the sanctuary Tuesday, while Beth was helping out in the office. The little fur-gal’s socialization skills continue to improve and we trust that when Beth returns to her home state up-North in a few short weeks, someone will be ready to adopt little Gumbo. Our little fur-gal deserves the very best home possible.

Peacock round-up
Several pairs of peacocks went to their new adoptive home within the last few weeks. They are now enjoying life all together on a dairy farm in Colorado. Thank-you, Charlotte and Kendall, for making this adoption possible! We are posting their odyssey on our Facebook page at Birdland now has one remaining pair of peacocks still available for adoption. The last adoption of some of our resident doves went well and we are now adopting-out white and domesticated ring-neck doves in groups of no less than 3 at a time. Interested? Contact us at or visit Desert Haven this Tuesday, between 9 AM and 4 PM. You can also call our office at 575-894-1694.

Desert Haven is owned and operated by the Sierra County Humane Society – a private non-profit 501-c-3 animal welfare organization dedicated to make a difference in the lives of companion animals in our area. Several winter residents who are currently volunteering at the sanctuary will soon be moving back to their respective home states, leaving Desert Haven and Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe with a skeleton crew. Do you have at least a couple of hours a week to donate to a worthy cause? Let us hear from you!

This week’s wish list: large bottles of Clorox, large transparent plastic bags, several bags of cement to help build a much-needed handicap ramp at P&C Thrift Shoppe. We can be reached at 575-894-2639 or You can also check us out at,, and at

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Week of 3/16/14 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin
Atty. John Wheeler meets with Eliana Aubin

Many local businesses support the Sierra County Humane Society, either with their business membership or through in-kind or financial contributions. We count on these contributions. They help pay for the labor of love that we provide for the companion animals of Sierra County.

For some years now, Attorney-at-Law John Wheeler, James Bagwell, CPA PA, Davis Fleck, Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber CO, Sun Valley Hardware, Walmart, Desert Winds Boat & RV Storage, Bullocks Grocery Store in TorC, also Hodges Restaurant and Bar-2 Sand & Gravel in Elephant Butte, Animas Creek Plant Nursery, both the Sierra County Sentinel and the Herald newspapers, have all been some of our strongest supporters. Recently, the current owners of Adobe Hacienda Real Estate gave us their vote of confidence by becoming business members of our animal welfare organization.

We also wish to thank Sierra Veterinary Services for being one of our business supporters. The modern facility is located on North Date Street in TorC. Formerly “Hot Springs Animal Clinic”, owned and operated by Dr Cardwell who retired not long ago, then moved back with Judy to his home state of Texas, the veterinary business is currently owned by Dr Dawkins, daughter of local resident Bobby Dawkins. We consider Bobby Dawkins a strong supporter of the SCHS as well. Sierra County residents are fortunate indeed to have community-minded businesses that care enough to support non-profit organizations like ours.

Without Dr Dawkins and Sierra Veterinary Services conveniently located in TorC, many local people who share their lives with companion animals and who want to provide for them the very best of routine and emergency care available would not be able to do so.

We need helpers at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe, also at Desert Haven Animal Refuge. Interested in giving us a hand this spring and summer? Even as little as two hours a week of your precious time would certainly make a difference.

Visit Desert Haven on a Tuesday, between 9AM and 4PM when the sanctuary is open to visitors, and find out for yourself where you would be most needed. You can also contact us at 575-894-2639 or at . Visit us at and

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Week of 12/29/13 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

We mourn the loss of a long-time friend of Desert Haven - Ginny Nylen – who passed away suddenly doing what she loved: RV’ing throughout the US and making friends along the way. Ginny had work-camped in our area some years ago. When we appealed to the community for someone to help in our Desert Haven office on Tuesdays, Ginny came forward. She helped us again the following several winters. Time went on and Ginny no longer work-camped, but she kept traveling and every year, she was back at Desert Haven to visit, with plenty of goodies for our furry residents. Ginny, you will always be remembered fondly by all of us who shared precious moments of your life.

Susan Newman of Animas Creek Plant Nursery and Gina Kelley of Ruidoso, we value your long-standing commitment to our animal welfare cause. Susan is a local business person with a high level of moral principle. Gina was the Sierra County Tourism Director until she moved to Ruidoso over 2 years ago. While a local resident, she had asked our organization for help to sterilize the small army of feral and stray cats who lived in her neighborhood. We came through for her. Then the economy took a dip, so did the support we counted on to keep our spay-a-stray program solvent. We appealed to all those we had helped in the past – even one dollar would make a difference, one dollar from each of the several thousand individuals we had helped since we started the program in 1994. A hand-full came forward.

Gina Kelley
 Gina came forward, and very generously indeed! She contributes towards our program every month since that time. Individuals like Susan Newman and Gina Kelley exemplify people who are committed to their moral principle. They don’t just say they believe in something, their show they believe in something, quietly and without fanfare.

We need volunteer help every morning at Desert Haven. We also need help at Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe. Contact us at 575-894-2639 or at Visit us at and Our mailing address is: POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87901.

Week of 12/22/13 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

A very young female black lab arrived at Desert Haven Animal Refuge on Christmas Eve. She was rescued from a mountain road during a recent snow storm. A good Samaritan rescued her before she became another victim. “Crissy” is now the newest member of Dog Town. You can soon see her on our Desert Haven Facebook page at

We have much to be thankful for this Christmas season. Among other wonderful contributors, some of them who want to stay anonymous, Gina Kelley of Ruidoso sends generous monthly pledges to help keep our Spay-neuter program alive. Local resident Mary Roden recently donated much needed canned cat food. Carmel O'Connell of San Francisco CA contributes every month through our Pay-Pal account. A monthly pledge is made in Richard Wagner’s memory, ensuring his name will always be remembered with fondness.

Christmas donations for our rescues

Robert & Marian Allen donated a vehicle full of pet food and birdseeds, toys, treats and bedding last Tuesday. Chet & Val Two-Wolves dropped-off pet food and treats in memory of their beloved companion-dog Lady who had just passed away. Several large boxes of pet food and treats sent by our supporters from Texas, via Walmart and Amazon arrived recently. Last week, Moose Lodge 2050 contributed towards the veterinary costs of bringing our latest rescues back to health: Charlie, Gumbo and Forest.

Moose contribution

Last week, the drop-off box at Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe was broken into several times. The thieves not only stole everything inside it, but they also badly damaged parts of the structure, outside and while they were foraging directly inside it. A police report was made each time. It’s very sad when a few undesirables make it so hard for the rest of us to do what we can to make this corner of the world a better place to live. If you know anything about these thefts, contact us at 575-894-2639. The information will be forwarded to the TorC Police Department.

Drop off box - repaired
 We need volunteer help every morning at Desert Haven. We also need help at Paws&Claws Thrift Shoppe between 11am and 4pm. Contact us at 575-894-2639 or at Visit us at and Our mailing address is: POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87901. Happy Holidays to all our members and animal loving friends.