Wednesday, May 9, 2018

DHAR Review

by Craig Schertzer

We would like to sincerely thank Eliana and the Sierra County Humane Society for the opportunity to volunteer for three months at Desert Haven Animal Refuge.  Working with the dogs, cats and birds was a very rewarding experience. If you love animals and want to make a difference in their lives we would recommend volunteering here.  

The job is more than just “working your time” and going back to your RV.  While you could certainly just do the regular animal care, you would miss out on the opportunity to truly meet, know and love all the wonderful residents of the refuge within your assigned hours.  You will also have the opportunity to take on any projects that better the refuge whether your interest is painting, carpentry or just extra snuggles with the residents.  We especially enjoyed walking the dogs every morning and giving the cats their evening snack!   

The truly unique city of Truth or Consequences is only a few miles away and right across the street from your site are hundreds of acres of government land the Rio Grande River passes through that you can freely explore.  If you love animals, nature and can work independently we would recommend volunteering at Desert Haven!  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Workamping Review from Desert Haven Animal Refuge

by Melvin Williams

We have been at Desert Haven for two months now as work campers. While not knowing what to expect exactly, I did have hopes of spending a lot of time " hand to fur".....and being here has shown me how paltry my expectations were.

Each morning as we approach Dogtown the writhing, wiggling, wagging and woofing welcomes us. I'm not a morning person in general and yet every morning my face hurts from smiling! All the cats and dogs here are friendly and affectionate to everyone but over time I am learning that there is a subtle yet definite difference as they come to know you as YOU and not just the nice people with the leash or food or fresh water. As much as they love their daily walks there comes a point when to kneel down and share some loving and hugging has to happen first before they even want the leash on!!!

Of course we all know dogs (and cats) seem to exist only to love us (okay, cats are a little more independent), yet that total humbleness and vulnerability to our actions and behavior towards them makes us understand more fully the compassion and drive of Eliana to make a safe loving place for as many unwanted, unloved little furry beings as she can. Because of her dedication and great efforts to establish Desert Haven these many years ago, Mel and I, for this brief period of time, have been reveling in the affection and even joy bestowed upon us by the lucky residents of Desert Haven. Marcee and Mel"

Sunday, January 15, 2017

HUMANE HAPPENINGS - Week of January 9 2017

by Eliana Aubin

Eliana with one of our new rescues!
 It’s a very busy week at Desert Haven Animal Refuge, as
Sammy the very shy Golden Retriever, Pixie the lap-dog-want-to-be Chihuahua, Echo the fun-loving red-heeler-hound and the gorgeous black & white blue-eyed Eclipse became the newest residents of DogTown just a few days ago.  On Tuesday, it was so enjoyable for everyone to watch how quickly all the latest rescues had started to feel at home at Dog Town. Soon, their photos and information will be posted on our Desert Haven Petfinder page and our Facebook page, at

Betty' donation
Thank you, Betty, for making all the Desert Haven’s furry residents very happy this week.  We are grateful for your generous contribution of pet food and treats, and also for the very gently used Cat furniture that you thoughtfully included in your donation. Our kitties took possession of the cat furniture immediately after it was set-up in the Cat Patio inside the Cool Cat neighborhood.

This week’s wish list: a load of crusher fine to repair  the damage done to the driveway leading to the sanctuary parking lot and main building.  Construction material, especially wood, plywood, pieces of 2 by 4, etc. that we currently are collecting to take on several much needed projects that will enhance the lives of our little residents.   

Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe is the major fundraising activity for our non-profit organization and Desert Haven, the no-kill sanctuary operating under its 501-c-3 non-profit umbrella. The non-profit resale store is now open from Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 AM to 5 PM, to better serve the community and the tourists. We need extra help at the store during business hours. Interested in donating a couple of hours a week to a good cause? Pick-up a volunteer information form at the store. We can use your help. 

Contact us at 575-894-2639 or weR4pets@gmail.comOur mailing address: The Sierra County Humane Society & Desert Haven Animal Refuge, POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Monday, January 9, 2017

HUMANE HAPPENINGS - Week of January 4, 2017

 by Eliana Aubin

 Red, Callie and Jack were adopted from Desert Haven during the 2016 holidays. Jack and Callie recently moved to their fur-ever home locally. Red went to Colorado, to share his life with his new family. Our sweet and playful fur-boy seems to be having the time of his life as the constant companion of the two children and another fur-boy, who also obviously enjoy the new playmate.

Red and Steve say "hello!"
While visiting family locally, Red and his folks decided to visit Desert Haven once again last Tuesday. It was a real thrill for all of us who cared for him at the no-kill sanctuary, to welcome our fur-baby for a short visit. His family also shared with us that as soon as Red, who was sitting in the back seat of the vehicle, realized that the car was turning into the Desert Haven driveway, his tail started to wave happily and it didn’t stop waving the whole time of the visit.  Red was very happy to visit us and he was thanking us in his own way for rescuing him and giving him the opportunity to live his new life with a family who loved him. 

Interested in finding more about our adopted fur-babies? Visit our web site at or on Facebook at

The Sierra County Humane Society continues to offer spay-neuter certificates to local resident needing some financial help to have their companion animal sterilized. Applications continue to be available at the TorC Police Station.  

Any question? Contact our organization at 575-894-1694 and leave a message. The Office is located at Desert Haven, which is open to the public every Tuesday, from 10 AM to 4 PM. All our phone messages are checked and answered every Tuesday morning during those hours.   

Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe has been the major fundraising activity for our animal welfare organization and its no-kill sanctuary since it opened its doors in February 1997. We sincerely thank our contributors and shoppers, for making it successful for almost 20 years now.  Please note the change in business hours: Tuesday thru Saturday, from 10 AM to 5 PM.  Please bring your donated items inside, during business hours. Some unsavory local elements continue to target our store and the best items left unattended in front of the store disappear before we can bring them inside.  
Visit us at Contact us at 575-894-2639 or Our mailing address: The Sierra County Humane Society & Desert Haven Animal Refuge, POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Week of 12/18/16 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin
Christmas donations
It’s Christmas Time again, the Season of Giving. This week, the Sierra County Humane Society wishes to thank the kind individuals who are supporting our 501-c-3 non-profit animal welfare organization, to benefit the feathered and furry little residents of Desert Haven, the No-Kill companion animal sanctuary located in the heart of Desert Country.
Marian and Robert, together with their fur-girl Charlotte, are from Albuquerque. They also call Elephant Butte their home. Every year, the couple delivers a vehicle full of goodies to the sanctuary, something for all our little rescues. This year again, we received from the couple canned and dry dog & cat food and treats, bird seeds and also several large bags full of warm bedding. Thank-you Marian and Robert, and please give a hug for all of us to Charlotte, the fur-baby you adopted from Desert Haven some years back.

Jim is a winter resident in our area. Jim is also the Good Samaritan who went above and beyond to rescue Gentle Ben from certain death many months ago. Gentle Ben the black lab was literally thrown out of a vehicle in the middle of nowhere around Percha Dam at the onset of the Winter season that year.  It took several weeks for Jim to finally gain the trust of the starving fur-boy and then bring him safely to Desert Haven. Jim has not forgotten the fur-boy that he saved from starvation and exposure that Winter. While residing in our area, Ben’s Guardian Angel brings dog food regularly to help feed Gentle Ben, the Black Lab that he saved. How thoughtful of you, Jim!

We appreciate everyone who helps feed our fur-babies and help keep them warm and happy this time of the year. Among several others,  also anonymous, there is the kind individual who dropped-off last Tuesday at the sanctuary’s main entrance several boxes of goodies and bags of warm bedding for our our-boys and girls. There is Belinda, who, last week, rolled-up a cart-full of pet food and treats directly from Family Dollar to Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe, just as she has done every year at Christmas Time.  We also thank all of you, who generously sent a special Christmas contribution to benefit our little rescues this Winter.    
Visit us at www.DesertHavenAnimalRefuge, and Contact us at 575-894-2639 or weR4pets@gmail.comOur mailing address: The Sierra County Humane Society & Desert Haven Animal Refuge, POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Week of 11/30/16 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Red and his new family

This week at Desert Haven was very busy. Two very special canines, Red, and Jack were adopted.  Jack quickly melted the heart of Ann, a local senior lady who started volunteering at DogTown to help socialize several of our furry  residents.  It was very difficult to see Jack leave Desert Haven. After all, how could we not have gotten very attached to this fur-ball of fun and spunk since he was rescued at the sanctuary last year at this time? But again, seeing him take so quickly to Ann warmed our hearts and we wish them both the very best. 

Red has now moved to Colorado, to live a good life with a family with kids.  Of course, if anything does not work as planned in their new fur-ever home, we will welcome them back with open arms, no questions asked, and reimburse their adoption fee. Check out our Facebook page at,  for photos of them and their new environment. 

Russell the peacock has been an integral part of Desert Haven since 2001, when the  no-kill domestic animal sanctuary opened its doors to unwanted and abandoned creatures.  Russell was a very small baby peacock back then. He was rescued, together with two other feathered little ones, also very young.  

At the time, their human caretaker wanted to save them from a Bobcat family that had taken residence near his large property on the outskirts of T or C. Apparently, this Bobcat family had already decimated most of the man’s domestic animals,  birds and other fowl that he had rescued and cared for on his property over the years.  We took Russell and his siblings in.  Our majestic bird became the King-of-Birdland, an icon at our sanctuary. 
 Russell passed away this past week-end. He will be sorely missed. He was our precious feather-boy for almost 15 years.  He will be buried at Rainbow Bridge Pet Cemetery.

This week’s wish list: canned dog and cat food, also bird and sunflower seeds.  Do you have time to help-out a couple of hours a week or more at  Paws & Claws during business hours? Paws & Claws is now open from 10 to 5PM, Tuesday through Saturday. Check out our web site at Contact us at 575-894-2639 or  at weR4pets@gmail.comOur mailing address: The Sierra County Humane Society & Desert Haven Animal Refuge, POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Week of 12/5/16 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin
Milk Bones sent from Jon in VA - thanks Jon!
The 2016 Holiday Season is now in full swing. What better way to celebrate the holidays than to give all the Desert Haven furry and feather residents some very special treats? This past Tuesday, all the fur-boys and girls in Dog Town were given a very tasty and fun-to-chew-on large bone (real bones, not rawhide) purchased especially with each one in mind, directly from our local Tractor Trailer Co store.

The purchase of safe-for-dogs-to-eat dog bones of all sizes was made possible through a generous contribution recently sent in the mail for that specific purpose by one of our animal loving friends, Jon, who resides in Virginia. Jon has been a strong supporter of our organization for several years now. His on-going generosity and kindness, all the way from his home in Virginia, is showing his genuine compassion towards all companion animals in need.  The furry little ones rescued at Desert Haven, a humble, small but efficient, no-kill domestic animal sanctuary several thousand miles away from Jon’s home are benefiting greatly from his kindness and we are grateful.  Jon is a Facebook friend of our sanctuary, through the page. Some weeks ago, Jon saw our post on Facebook and he also read in  our weekly “Humane Happenings” article about Desert Haven needing milk bones to give as treats to our fur babies. Soon afterwards, our organization received, from Jon and via Walmart & Fedex - several boxes full of milk bones of all sizes. 

Beds donated by Jon in VA - thanks Jon!
At around the same time, our organization received, also via Fedex, also from Jon of Virginia, a couple of oversize boxes full of gently used doggie beds for very small to large fur-boys and girls.  It was truly heartwarming to us who work in the trenches, to know that animal loving people, local and from all over the country, follow our labor-of-love as they read our weekly “Humane Happenings” article and follow our Desert Haven Facebook page. 

For more information on the correct address where to send Holiday gifts, packages, etc.  for our little sanctuary residents, via regular mail, FEDEX or UPS, contact us at 575-894-2639 or This week’s wish list: bird and sunflower seeds, canned dog and cat food. Our mailing address: The Sierra County Humane Society & Desert Haven Animal Refuge, POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Week of 11/12/16 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

The Sierra County Humane Society (SCHS) owns and operates Desert Haven Animal Sanctuary and Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe. The animal welfare organization is a 501-c-3 non-profit entity, managed by a Board of Directors that is elected every year to make the decisions involving the entire organization. 

The Sierra County Humane Society receives no funding from government entities, local or otherwise – this means that absolutely NO tax-payers money, NO government help of any sort including government grants, etc. go into helping fund the organization in any way. This fact is important indeed, to enlighten some vocal locals who still seem to be grossly uninformed after all these years that the organization, including Desert Haven and Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe have been in existence. 
Desert Haven is indeed a private sanctuary, entirely built from the grounds up and operated by a handful of animal loving individuals who cared enough then and who care enough now to provide a haven for unwanted and abandoned companion animals. The dedicated volunteers must rely on the resources they generate on an on-going basis.  Contrary to what some uninformed locals claim, Desert Haven is not and never will be the dumping ground for all local unwanted animals, including theirs. We are not a hoarding facility. Recent threats of a smear campaign if Desert Haven does not arbitrarily take in their animal comply won’t change the facts or the direction or the organization. 
The facts are: Desert Haven operates on a limited budget generated through the support and dedication of animal loving people from all over, including local businesses and private entities and, as importantly, the volunteers who care enough to help make things work.  Resources such as space available, funding, number of long-term volunteers, routinely limit the number of animals we can take in at Desert Haven. 
Can you help-out at Desert Haven? Perhaps walk our canines? spend quality time with our felines? socialize our special needs furry rescues and get them ready for adoption? perhaps you can help-out a couple of hours a week or more at  Paws & Claws during business hours? What about helping provide food or veterinary care for our little rescues? Do you want to make a difference in the life of an animal? 
Check out our web site at Contact us at 575-894-2639 or  at Chat with us at and  www.Facebook.DesertHaven. 
Our mailing address: The Sierra County Humane Society & Desert Haven Animal Refuge, POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Week of 10/31/16 Humane Happenings

by Eliana Aubin

Eliana and a furry friends
Fall has finally arrived in our Desert Southwest and Desert Haven Animal Refuge is getting ready for Winter. This past Summer, Amin’s Furniture Store in TorC very generously donated a brand new roll of carpet to Desert Haven, to help keep our furry residents warm this winter. Sharon of Albuquerque and her father Bill also donated some large carpet pieces several months ago. All the carpet stored since this last Spring is now being put to good use both in Dog Town and the Cool Cat Neighborhood in anticipation of a colder-than-usual Winter this year. 
Jack, Kevin, Mike and Larry are keeping busy cutting-up the carpet to help keep the resident fur-boys and girls as comfy as possible this Winter. Much of the cement floor inside the Inn at Dog Town has now been carpeted.  Soon, our team will also have laid-out carpet inside each one of the igloos located in the Cat Walks, which are part of the all-fenced Cool Cat Neighborhood.  The igloos are without a doubt the felines’ favorite daybeds no matter what the season. It gives every member of our Desert Haven team a lot of pleasure to watch our little ones enjoy the coziness of their igloos as they do. Thanks to the generosity of our animal loving friends through the year, every individual Kitty Condo inside the Cat Patio and in the Feline Dorm now has its very own warm pillow.  What a treat for our kitties! 

Are you a dog aficionado? Do you have a couple of hours to donate every week? Why not spend them around dogs one morning or two a week? The canines of Desert Haven are walked every morning, between 8 and 11 AM.  Currently, Pat of Lake Valley, Christine of Elephant Butte and Keith of TorC are our dedicated – and appreciated - volunteer dog walkers. All our fur-boys and girls, especially the few new little ones who came to us recently from a deplorable hoarding situation and who are still extremely shy, benefit greatly from routinely spending individual quality time with a human companion. 

Interested in helping in some way? contact us at 575-894-2639, also at Chat with us at and  www.Facebook.DesertHaven. Visit our web site at Our mailing address: The Sierra County Humane Society & Desert Haven Animal Refuge, POB 638, Williamsburg, NM 87942.