Wednesday, April 13, 2016

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

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