Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Weelk of 4/17/16 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

A feline friend at Desert Haven
This past week, Desert Haven Animal Refuge became home to Jennie-Mae, a Jack Russell rescued from an abusive situation. It didn’t take long for the little gal to start feeling safe and happy in her new environment. Another little life saved, and it felt good.
Vulcan arrived at Desert Haven this past Tuesday. The young black kitty with obvious Russian Blue ancestry has taken up temporary residency in the Howdy Room, the room-with-a-view especially reserved for all new feline arrivals. The cozy Howdy Room is conveniently located adjacent to the Cat Walk, itself part of the Neighborhood, the 1200 square feet indoor-outdoor feline living quarters. Soon, Vulcan will join the other feline residents. Interested in perhaps adopting a Desert Haven feline? Visit the sanctuary on a Tuesday when it is open to visitors, between 10 am and 4 pm.  Perhaps you prefer to peruse through Petfinder before you decide to visit. The photos and  stories of our little ones are posted at
Jane is a current work camper at Desert Haven. A genuine feline aficionado and  while residing at the sanctuary, Jane plans to update on Petfinder the information, including temperament and photos, on all the resident felines.
Would you like to become involved in our animal welfare cause? Visit the sanctuary on a Tuesday and take part in its activities for a couple of hours, share lunch with our team and then decide where you believe you can best make a difference.  Our organization offers several programs that serve the residents of TorC and surrounding communities.  Do you prefer to help out from your own home perhaps? What about organizing animal oriented projects, either on your own or as part of a community-minded group you belong to? With Walmart no longer donating their damaged bags and cans of pet food to our non-profit volunteer organization, the contributions of local and out-of-town supporters are even more crucial.  Among feathered and other furry residents, an average of 30 felines and 20 canines, all active and healthy, require plenty of good food daily.   And then they like treats of course!  Your donated pet food and treats can be dropped-off inside Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe from Wed through Sat, between 10:30 and 4:30.
Routine and emergency veterinary care is always a must. Consider contributing to this worthwhile cause by sending a monthly contribution to our 501-c-3 non-profit animal welfare organization at PO Box 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942. E-mail us at
Visit our web site at www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge. com.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Week of 4/4/16 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Desert Haven Animal Refuge rescued several canines recently. There is Big Red, a very loving young golden Retriever. Spike is a friendly Australian Cattle dog; he and Big Red reside in the Mighty Mutts exercise yard.  Sweet little Gracie, a Basset Hound-Dachshund is now sharing the Canine Cottage with Gentle Ben.  The story of Gentle Ben was posted on late last Fall.  The young black lab had been literally thrown out of a vehicle and abandoned at Percha Dam State park. The park was deserted at the time, aside from its seasonal caretaker who saw from a distance what had just happened. The dog was doomed to die if left to fend for himself, without food & shelter through the coming winter. It took many days to finally catch him and then transport him to the no-kill sanctuary.  We called him Gentle Ben, the perfect name for him.  Some weeks later, he was adopted locally, but then returned soon after a service dog became the newest addition to the adoptive family.  Apparently, the two fur-boys refused to get along. When his playmate Missy was adopted recently, Gentle Ben and the new little rescue Gracie became instant buddies.  Gentle Ben and Gracie are now enjoying life together while waiting to melt the heart of “Someone Special”.  Here at Desert Haven, we believe that “Life is always better with a buddy”. So, all of us who give our heart to all the sanctuary’s furry little residents always ensure that, while there, each one of them has at least one fur-buddy to share Life with.    
The Cool Cat Neighborhood will soon be home to two kitties rescued from a parking lot. The lady who rescued them already has two felines who refuse to accept the little guys, so there are cat-fights in the household.  Both felines are young.  Interested in perhaps adopting one of them? Or you prefer to adopt a couple of just-weaned kitties? Visit Desert Haven on a Tuesday, between 10 AM and 4 PM.
This week’s Priority wish list: canned and dry pet food, dog treats, also scratch and sunflower seeds. Consider contributing to this worthwhile cause by sending a monthly contribution to our 501-c-3 non-profit animal welfare organization at PO Box 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942. E-mail us at Visit our web site at www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Week of 3/27/16 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin
Burkes’ Outlet in TorC recently generously donated several steel clothing racks to Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe, the second-hand store owned and operated by the Sierra County Humane Society (SCHS). Burkes’ Outlet has supported our non-profit animal welfare organization for years now. Over time, Paws & Claws has gratefully accepted from the management of the local store valuable equipment, also brand new gift items and out-of-season clothing. We value the existence of Burkes’ Outlet in TorC and wish it continued success in our community.  
Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe is located adjacent to the TorC Family Dollar. Opened in 1997 in its old location on First Street, then relocated next to Family Dollar in 2008, the store is the major source of income for the Sierra County Humane Society and Desert Haven, the small no-kill sanctuary which the organization owns and operates.  
 It’s truly amazing that some local vocals still confuse the Sierra County Humane Society with Sierra Animal Shelter (SAS), a for-profit business owned and operated by our local veterinarian. SAS currently serves as the City Shelter. It is located off Date Street. Its employees handle the unwanted and abandoned animals for the City of TorC and the entire county. Government funding covers its operating costs. On the other hand, the office of the Sierra County Humane Society is located at Desert Haven Animal Refuge. Contrary to some misinformed local folks, neither Sierra Veterinary Services nor Sierra Animal Shelter are “the other Humane Society”.
The Sierra County Humane Society receives absolutely NO funding from tax-payers dollars. It is not associated with the city or county government in any way. We are a private entity that generates its funding through the generosity of individuals and businesses who support our on-going efforts.
Do you have medium or large empty pet food bags you wish to recycle? We also can use transparent plastic bags of all sizes. We gladly accept them at Paws&Claws during business hours (Wed to Sat, 10:30-4:30) and at the sanctuary (Tues 10-4PM).This week’s Priority wish list: canned and dry pet food, dog treats, also scratch and sunflower seeds.
Consider contributing to this worthwhile cause by sending a monthly contribution to our 501-c-3 non-profit animal welfare organization at PO Box 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942. E-mail us at

Week of 3/20/16 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

The Sierra County Humane Society has for many years depended upon the good-will of local community-minded businesses to help the organization succeed. We have had the good-fortune of receiving support and contributions from Bullocks Grocery Store, Bar-2 Sand & Gravel, the Moose Lodge, American Legion, Burkes Outlet, CPA James Bagwell, Hodges Restaurant, St Cloud Mining, the “Driving Divas”, our local veterinarian, also both weekly newspapers, to name a few. These generous businesses and organizations continue to contribute to the animal welfare mission here in Sierra County. 

Sadly, without advance notice, in January 2015, Walmart decided to radically cut-off its community-relations policy, including contributing their damaged pet food items to the Sierra County Humane Society. This was a huge blow and a real challenge for our organization. As it is, we have to operate with very limited resources. Walmart’s employees are telling us that now, all the damaged bags are taped-up and put back on the shelves at a reduced price – still at a substantial profit for the mega-store. No more food for the little residents at the sanctuary.  

Interested in helping this very worthy cause? Your donated bags and cans of pet food to help feed Desert Haven’s feathered and furry residents are always very well-received. You can also start a Pet Food drive locally, to help replenish the Pet-Pantry at the no-kill sanctuary. It is open to visitors every Tuesday, from 10 AM to 4 PM, also by appointments. Call us at 575-894-2639 or E-mail us at
Contribute to our cause by sending a monthly donation to PO Box 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942. Do you know the proper way to lay a small cement slab? We need you at Desert Haven. Can you occasionally donate a couple of hours of your time and perhaps the use of your truck?  We sometimes need someone with a truck to help move donated items to the store or the sanctuary. 

Tuesdays at the sanctuary are never boring. Do you like to stay involved? Then come on down and become part of our team. We need help with walking our canines and grooming some of friendliest felines, also with construction and repair projects.  Perhaps you are relatively new in this area. Then meet people of kindred spirit by volunteering on a Tuesday, and also plan to stay for lunch. It is always excellent food and the company is friendly.

Humane Happenings Week of 3/13/16

by Eliana Aubin

It is Springtime and the Sierra County Humane Society wishes to remind everyone who shares Life with a companion animal that this is the time especially when too many puppies and kitten are born unwanted. Too many little lives are doomed from the day they are born. Not enough loving homes are available for them and all these innocent creatures being born unwanted must endure so much misery. It does not have to be so. If only folks would have their fur-boy or girl sterilized, there would be less and less little lives abandoned like trash, doomed to die trying to survive in an often hostile environment.   

Our organization’s Spay-neuter program helps individuals with the costs of sterilizing their animal. For more information, call us at 575-894-1694. You will receive a return call on the following Tuesday, between 10 AM and 4 PM, when Desert Haven Animal Refuge is open to visitors and potential adopters.   

Our organization’s staff members routinely interact with animal loving folks at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe. We are seeing an increase of tourists from all over the state and beyond. As they shop at our second-hand store, many tell us that the friendliness of our staff, the attractiveness of the store, also the variety of items on display, from antiques and one-of-a-kind items to the standard household stock - all of them at bargain prices - are making their shopping a very pleasant experience. Many applaud our efforts to help companion animals in our area, as they promise to visit our shop again when back in town. Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe is instrumental in providing some of the necessary funding to keep Desert Haven in operation. The profits generated at the store also help cover the costs of the organization’s comprehensive sterilization program. 

Interested in helping companion animals in need in our area? Get involved: become a member of our organization – contribute to our cause by sending a monthly contribution to PO Box 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942. You can also bring your donation of pet food to Paws & Claws. It is located adjacent to Family Dollart in TorC. You can also drop it off at the no-kill sanctuary on a Tuesday. The companion animals that we rescue need your on-going support.
E-mail us at

Humane Happenings Week of 3/6/16

by Eliana Aubin

Little Roxie is one of the two miniature Pinschers rescued a couple of months ago at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, together with several other little ones her size.  Since her arrival at the facility, Roxie has shared the Pooch Play Yard and its Puppy Club House with her new buddies and she loves her time there. Roxie is in the process of being adopted and soon after she has  healed from her recent sterilization surgery, she will move to her new Forever Home locally.
The team of volunteers who make good things happen at Desert Haven, continue to wish for each and every little rescues to melt the heart of that Someone Special that they all deserve. Roxie’s own precious life, along with the life of all the little ones who call the no-kill sanctuary their home, have been saved because Desert Haven is there to give them a home, because good people support the sanctuary on an on-going basis as they donate funds or with in-kind contributions, and also because good-hearted people volunteer  their time and energy to care for them on a daily basis. Sadly, here at Desert Haven, we cannot save every unwanted or abandoned companion animal, but we make a difference in the life of each and everyone that can be saved.

Sugar was rescued recently by a Good Samaritan - the young feline was badly wounded at the time.  Saving her life and bringing her back to health has involved costly veterinary care and medication. To complicate matters, Sugar is also pregnant. Her babies are due within a couple of weeks now.  Because her job involves routine extended travels, Sugar’s guardian angel can’t keep her. Desert Haven has come to the rescue and Sugar will soon be the newest resident of the Cool Cat Neighborhood.   

 Interested in spending quality time with a mother and her young kittens until they are ready for adoption? Visit Desert Haven on a Tuesday between 10 AM and 4 PM, when the sanctuary is open to visitors and potential adopters. Call us at 575-894-2639 or e-mail us at

This week’s Wish List: dry & canned dog and cat food.
Chat with us at and Visit us at www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge. Contact us at PO Box 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Trisha and Bob's Workamping Review of Desert Haven

My husband, Bob, and I came to volunteer at Desert Haven Animal Rescue on impulse when our motorhome broke its fan belt and we were stranded temporarily in Las Cruces. Call it fate, or perhaps it was the hand of God; all we know that it has been a highly rewarding three months here in Williamsburg, NM. 

A typical week here consists of two half days of work and one full day (Tuesday, when everyone pitches in all day.) Two mornings are spent doing animal care and on Tuesday afternoons and Friday afternoons we do projects.

Bob works on repairing what needs fixing and I work pricing items for Paws and Claws Thrift Shop, which helps support the animal rescue. I have been amazed to see the variety and quality of the items in the thrift shop.  The people we work with have been wonderful and we have become good friends with them. It hardly feels like work at all at times!  And the animals are great fun.

 I have gotten very close to a couple of the dogs but as we already have two very spoiled rescues (a dog and a cat) we are unable to adopt more at this time. I have also enjoyed caring for the cats and the birds. What a thrill to see the peacocks strut their stuff!

We love the little campground here. Our view of the Caballo Mountains gives us a show every evening as the sun is setting, and the other campers and residents are good neighbors. It is so peaceful here.



On our days off we have visited Truth or Consequences, Socorro, Hatch, Chloride, Elephant Butte, Caballo, and spent time in Las Cruces. We plan a trip to the dentist in Puerto Palomas in Mexico before we leave here. There is a lot to do in this area,and it is very beautiful.

Our 3 months here has flown by, and while it is time to move on we will be leaving with very fond memories of our workamping experience.  We will make a point of stopping in when we come through this area again.I would be happy to answer any questions a prospective workamper may have. Please contact the Webmaster to have your questions forwarded to me.

Our Workamping Experience at Desert Haven by Cindy and Cathy

Recently, we had the rewarding experience of workamping at the Desert Haven Animal Refuge. The level of animal care is extraordinary - from accommodations to daily feeding, exercise, hands-on loving and medical care. The residents have the maximum amount of freedom possible while still being protected from predators & the elements. Besides providing the daily care, workers are always busy with various projects involving such things as repairs, building, or painting….the goal of which is to maintain & constantly improve the living conditions of the residents. 

Along with the chores at the Refuge, Workampers are required to put in a few hours weekly at the Paws & Claws Thrift Shop which provides direct income for the needs of the Refuge. While retail work is not everyone’s cup of tea, we found management flexible enough to work with us there. Workampers should be aware that this is an animal refuge in the desert, not a resort. Self-contained bathing facilities are a MUST; laundry facilities a plus although there is a Laundromat in town.

Tuesday is an “all hands on deck” day & while it is a longer day than usual, many things are accomplished on this day. Besides the daily morning & evening care of the residents it includes a strategy meeting of management & Workampers where information & direction is shared. It also includes a pot luck lunch which not only provides an excellent meal but also gives everyone a chance to get to know each other better & share experiences. We had an eclectic group & the lunch conversation was lively, informative & entertaining. 

Finally, Tuesday is project day….when things requiring group effort or special attention get done.
One of the things we really liked was that we could spend extra time with the animals, above & beyond our required hours if we wanted to (& we did). All in all it was a very rewarding experience. During our time there, we were privileged to be a part of the adoption of several peacocks, a kitten & 4 dogs……and to participate in the rescue of 2 cats & 5 more dogs. Sadly, we also experienced the passing of long-time resident “Sarge”.

Our final comment:  It is our humane responsibility to provide good husbandry for all animals. Those who have been neglected or mistreated require special attention and lots of LOVE and at Desert Haven, they get it.  Desert Haven is all about the animals!!!

We wish Desert Haven continued success.

Cindy & Cathy
Cleveland, Ohio

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Week of 3/1/16 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin
Suzie-Q giving Eliana doggie kisses!
Suzie-Q and several dozen companion animals call Desert Haven Animal Refuge their home. If they were able to talk, what story they could tell! Here at the sanctuary, we know their story- usually very sad, sometimes truly heart-wrenching. This is why the kind people who choose to involve themselves at the sanctuary in whatever way they are able to, are there in the first place. It is also why they continue to help out week after week.

Suzie-Q was abandoned over a year or so ago by the people she trusted.  Desert Haven rescued her, vetted her and re-instated in her the trust of humans, giving her a new chance at Life. This little fur-gal has a zest for Life that warms the heart of everyone who helps out at the sanctuary. One can’t be or stay sad or morose around Suzy-Q, because she won’t let you! 

Suzie-Q was an especially happy little fur-gal yesterday. A couple from Silver City made the trip to Desert Haven just to meet Suzy-Q in person, after they had seen her photo and information on the Desert Haven Petfinder page. 

As usual, during the entire visit, Suzy Q was herself – loving, wanting to please, and as importantly, she was well-behaved. After spending some quality time with her around the Desert Haven property, the couple decided to adopt her out that same day. The folks had already provided references and personal information via e-mail several days before their visit to the sanctuary – a routine procedure whenever out-of-town individuals are interested in possibly adopting a Desert Haven resident. After all, we care for the little ones as our own. In the process, we make every effort to ensure that when the leave the sanctuary to start a new life, the new environment will be safe and loving. 

This week’s high priority list: Dry and canned dog and cat food 

 Someone to walk the residents of DogTown during Animal Care on Tuesday mornings, between 8 and 10:30 AM. Someone to test small appliances and/or electronics at Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe, for a couple of hours each Friday or Saturday afternoon. Call us at 575-894-2639 or e-mail  

Chat with us on Facebook at and Visit us at www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge. Contact us at PO Box 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.