"A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step....."

From a Humble Beginning...

Desert Haven Animal Refuge

"A labor of love in progress"

All Our Adoptable Pets : Just the Dogs : Just the Cats

Visit our expanded web site at www.deserthavenanimalrefuge.com for more photos and information.

Click here to read our Weekly Newsletter!

Founded in May 1999 under the umbrella of the Sierra County Humane Society, Inc. Desert Haven Animal Refuge opened its doors in December 2001 to the homeless, neglected, handicapped and unwanted domestic animals of Sierra County. It is operated and maintained by The Sierra County Humane Society, Inc. a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to the welfare of all animals, especially the domestic animals of Sierra County, New Mexico. It is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors, composed of The President, Vice President, Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary, Treasurer and four Board members, totaling nine members.

The facility is open to visitors every Tuesday from 9 AM to 4 PM, except on major holidays such as The Fourth of July, Christmas & New Year's Day. Aside from Tuesdays, domestic animals available for adoption may also be visited most other days by appointment.

Our physical address is

HC 31, Box 42
Williamsburg, New Mexico 87942.

Our Mailing address is

POB 638
Williamsburg, New Mexico 87942.

For more information, contact Desert Haven office at 575-894-1694.
To make appointments for the purpose of adoption, Desert Haven Office at 575-894-1694
To all e-mail aficionados, you can connect with us via e-mail at eliana4pets@gmail.com .

DESERT HAVEN OPERATES as a home-like environment for all companion animals who are taken in on a space available basis. Since Desert Haven Animal Refuge is a no-kill facility, it must operate under specific guidelines, so as to continue to provide a true "Haven of Compassion in the Heart of Desert Country" for the unwanted domestic animals that come our way. Because Desert Haven must be self-sufficient to survive on a long-term basis, and also because of lack of unlimited funding, we are careful to take in only the number of animals that we can afford to provide for at any given time.

Our No-Kill Philosophy

At Desert Haven Animal Refuge, killing is not an option.

All animals who arrive at Desert Haven can be guaranteed a new home or a good life at the no-kill facility, where they will never again be alone, hungry or afraid. Except in extreme circumstances, when animals are a danger to themselves or to others, or if they have lost the quality of life, all animals who are taken in live at the no-kill facility until they are adopted out or to the end of their natural life.

Dog Town

Our canine residents live at DOG TOWN, which includes THE INN, an insulated building providing private indoor sleeping quarters, complete with individual dog houses, and connecting to individual kennels with access to large fenced yards, such as The Mighty Mutts Playground and The Pooch Play Yard. Dog Town is built in such a way as to allow groups of dogs to freely enjoy the great outdoors with other dogs of compatible size and temperament. Several canines are housed in "GENE'S DOG HOUSE," an indoor section that is part of the main building, with free access to the "VIP Courtyard."

All outdoor play areas enjoy shady spots, cabanas, platforms, and more, enough for all the dogs to socialize with each other, exercise, and nap in the fresh air, in plain view of potential adopters and of visitors who come to groom them and give them individual attention.

The COOL CAT NEIGHBORHOOD is home to an average of twenty-five (25) felines at any given time. They live all together in a 1200 square feet, 10 ft high all-enclosed indoor-outdoor area, which includes indoor sleeping quarters with a large boxed window where several of them tend to gather at one time. We can watch them snooze all day long, huddled together with their best buddies. There is also a private and cozy condo for every feline resident, complete with a fluffy pillow for comfort. The Neighborhood also includes a spacious Cat Patio and Cat Walks with cat jungle gyms, ramps, look-outs, high gang-ways and more - the feline counterpart of an exclusive five star gated community.


& Animal House

"The Peaceable Kingdom"

Our feathered friends, together with the small furry creatures that are relinquished to our care, are housed in what some of our volunteer members call "The Peaceable Kingdom." Rabbits, guinea pigs, ring-neck and white doves, peacocks and miniature hens and roosters, all live in harmony inside several large 30 ft long by 12 ft high aviaries.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS is a top priority for all the dogs and cats who reside at Desert Haven. With that in mind, each receives a thorough medical check-up upon arrival, which includes all appropriate vaccinations which are kept up to date during the stay of the animal at the facility. A neuter or spay operation is performed at the local animal clinic soon after the animal arrives at the facility or when appropriate.

ADOPTIONS are essential for our no-kill animal refuge to be fully effective in providing a sanctuary for as many companion animals as it can handle at one time. Most importantly, we want to adopt out the dogs and cats who reside at the facility to the very best homes possible. Because we want only what is best for the companion animals in our care, we carefully investigate potential adopters and we also insure that all animals adopted from the facility can be returned should the adoption not work out for everyone concerned. Every adoption from Desert Haven makes room for another rescued unwanted animal to be taken in at the no-kill facility.

Our Current Adoption fees are $90.00-$125.00 depending on age for either a cat or a dog, regardless of the size. We do not adopt out any other animal resident at this time. Consequently, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and fowl residing at the facility are currently not available for adoption.


Willing to make a difference in the life of a companion animal without the life-time commitment of adopting one? Your contribution, large or small, will give a homeless pet another "leash on life" at Desert Haven Animal Refuge.
You can use the PayPal link located near the bottom of this page or send your contribution earmarked for that purpose to:

Desert Haven Animal Refuge
The Guardian Angel Program
POB 638
Williamsburg, New Mexico, 87901

For more information email eliana4pets@gmail.com.



The non-profit organization was founded in 1989 by a small group of individuals who were appalled at the horrific conditions that the mistreated, the lost and unwanted animals had to endure before being destroyed at the local city shelter. Soon afterwards, they started to work together to raise necessary funding, so that they could create several comprehensive programs that would provide a better life for companion animals living in Sierra County.


Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Relief of Animal Suffering
Extension of Humane Education

We promote SPAY-NEUTER. Our program, initiated in 1991, helps reduce the domestic animal overpopulation throughout our county. We rebate $20.00 to each and every local resident who applies for some type of financial help. This program alone has a yearly budget of around $6,000. When the need is obvious and the funds are available for that purpose, our Society covers the entire cost of pet sterilization on a case-by-case basis.

When Killing is not an Option: Our SPAY-A-STRAY PROGRAM was initiated in 1999, to help curb the feline overpopulation in our area. Year after year, The Society covers the entire costs of sterilizing a minimum of sixty stray and feral cats - no less than five each month. We are using the Trap-Neuter-Return (T-N-R) method - coined some years ago by Alley Cat Allies. All the cats sterilized under this program must have someone to look after them and a safe environment to return to after surgery. Currently, the Society is in the process of getting sterilized entire colonies of stray cats in several areas within the community, including in and around some outlying towns throughout the county of Sierra, NM. For example, over 180 feral cats roam freely throughout the little town of Hillsboro, New Mexico, a community of less than 150 permanent and seasonal residents. Several years ago, none of those cats were sterilized which caused a drastic growth in the feline population. To date, just about all of the 180+ stray cats have been sterilized, thanks to the on-going efforts of the Sierra County Humane Society and its volunteers Some sections of Williamsburg, Elephant Butte and Caballo still have a huge population of stray cats. Because of a team effort in those localities, to trap all animals one at a time, transport them to the local veterinarian and then commit to keep watch over them, feed them and keep their environment safe, entire colonies of feral cats are in the process of being sterilized, courtesy of our Society.

Education is the Answer: Our ADOPT-A-CLASSROOM PROGRAM was introduced to the local school system in 1991 by our organization. From 10 to 32 elementary classrooms participate each year on a voluntary basis. This program is offered to our Society by the National Association of Humane Education ( NAHE). Each student receives KIND NEWS, a newspaper published by the National Association for Humane and Environmental Education and geared to each classroom's level of comprehension. Video tapes on animal care, cruelty to animals and on the need for spaying or neutering a pet are made available throughout the school year to interested teachers. Pet care packages, literature and coloring books are also distributed on a first-come first-serve basis and while adequate funding is raised each year for that specific program. We also provide, free of charge to them, books and magazine subscriptions for both our local high school and public libraries.

This is how
The Sierra County Humane Society, Inc.
& Desert Haven Animal Refuge
Is able to help domestic animals in need.

Since we receive no financial help from government entities, local or otherwise, all our funding must come from personal and corporate contributions. We hold a number of fundraising events each year to keep our non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization financially stable and to help keep its mission on track.

"Paws & Claws" THRIFT SHOP, officially opened in the Spring of 1998. It is by far the most important fundraiser for the all-volunteer organization and is the source by which Desert Haven Animal Refuge covers a major part of its operating expenses. The organization would not survive as it is Today without the monthly income from the shop. The modest but very busy thrift shop, located in a prime shopping area of the small town of Truth or Consequences, operates entirely with a dedicated and hard-working crew of volunteers which keeps it open from Wednesday through Saturday year 'round, except on Fiesta Day, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

Thrift Shop Highlights

We offer a great variety of good used and new items to thrifty shoppers, from one-of-a-kind items to vintage clothing, rare and first edition books, furniture and even valuable antiques. Because we receive donations on a regular basis and our display space being limited, we hold great sales each month of the year.
1. We make available vouchers to nurses who gather items of clothing for indigents to wear after a hospital stay.
2. We save bibles and religious books for several non-profit organizations state wide.
3. We distribute clothing, blankets and household items to local victims of disasters and in times of crisis.
4. We save new toys and stuffed animals all year long to donate at Christmas time to the Toys for Tots program.
5. We donate children coats to the Coats for Kids program in Sierra County.
6. Children books, craft items and quilt material are made available, free of charge, to local non-profit educational facilities working with Sierra County children.
7. Complimentary coloring books, small toys and children newspapers about animals are handed out to well-behaved youngsters who visit the shop with an adult.
8. We save new gift items year-round, to donate to the local Women of the Moose for their Children's Christmas Store.
9. We donate boxes of new baseball caps to the residents of the NM Veterans Home.
10. Vouchers from the thrift shop are made available to people in need who come to us with a referral from specific community agencies.

For more information about Paws & Claws, contact:
Eliana Aubin at 575-894-2639 or e-mail her at eliana4pets@gmail.com

Our Volunteer Crew Is Resourceful

Aside from Paws & Claws thrift shop, the Society receives the remainder of its financial needs through modest membership fees, tax exempt contributions from private parties and local fraternal and service organizations under its 501(c)(3) status, as well as through fundraising activities such as garage and rummage sales, pancake breakfasts, crafts and art shows, silent auctions, bake sales, its Pennies for Pets and Cans for Critters recycling programs. Doggie Banks are located at several businesses throughout town. An all-popular Have-a-Heart dinner dance is organized each year. The hard work and dedication of the Society's volunteers, together with contributions from members and supporters, allow all the animal residents at the no-kill facility to be kept healthy and happy in the home-like environment that is provided for each and every one of them.

Desert Haven
Adult RV Campground
Adjacent to
Desert Haven Animal Refuge

You can spend a night, a week, a month or stay long-term at our small but comfortable Desert Haven RV Campground adjacent to Desert Haven Animal Refuge. Income generated from RV site rentals are earmarked to cover part of the operating expenses of Desert Haven Animal Refuge.

WE OFFER a large, full hook-up RV lot for $12 per night - utilities are included. Weekly rates are $50, monthly rates are $150, and you cover your own utilities. The RV campground is located along the Rio Grande Corridor, between two large lakes only minutes away - Elephant Butte Lake to the North, and Caballo Lake to the South. The entire area is known not only for its Old West hospitality, its hot mineral springs and surrounding ghost towns, but it is also a paradise for hikers, rock-hounds and bird watchers.

TO RESERVE AN RV SITE, contact Desert Haven Office at 575-894-1694 or email Eliana at eliana4pets@gmail.com . For more information about our Desert Haven Adult RV campground, you can call Desert Haven Office at 575-894-1694.

Where We Are

Desert Haven Animal Refuge is located in South Central New Mexico, off I-25, between Albuquerque to the North, and Las Cruces to the South. From I-25, take exit 75, then take a sharp right onto HWY 187. Desert Haven is located 2 miles south of the exit, at mile marker 34.


We want you!

Animal loving singles and couples can make a difference at Desert Haven Animal Refuge. If you are an adventuresome individual or couple who has chosen a lifestyle that combines any kind of part-time work with RV camping, you are considered a " Work Camper".

Requirements: A Work Camping single / couple must accept to stay no less than 2 months at Desert Haven Animal Refuge in Summer and no less than 3 months during the Winter season, unless a specific length of stay has been discussed and agreed on in advance by the parties involved.

Work Campers must have good work ethics, be motivated, honest, dependable, flexible and self-starters. We require an average of 20 hours per single person, 32 hours per couple per week, in exchange for full hook-up in country setting. Help is needed with all phases of operation, including basic care of small domestic animals, small thrift shop, and general upkeep of property.

Points of Contact: E-mail President Eliana Aubin at eliana4pets@gmail.com or call Work Camper coordinator team member Janice Lamb at 575-894-1694.

Most duties are shared with an Operations Manager and a Caretaker, several Work Campers and a crew of local Humane Society volunteers.

" Work Campers, long-term and seasonal volunteers are a vital part of the on-going success of Desert Haven Animal Refuge. We need the help and support of each and every animal loving individual who wants to work together with us to make a difference in the life of domestic animals in need."

"Together, we have the unique opportunity to witness, first hand, the changes that we make in the lives of the animals that we rescue and that we save from neglect, abuse, and often from a lonely and miserable death.

Together, we are an integral part of a network of caring and kindness whose value extends far beyond the simple care of the animals at Desert Haven Animal Refuge.

Join us in this labor of love in progress"
Eliana Aubin, President

Your donation through PayPal's secure server is greatly appreciated!

Click here for a list of pets at this shelter

[Home] [Information] [Shelters] [Search]