Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary Pet Adoption Happily Ever After Story

Daisy (Lucy)

Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary - Pet Adoption Las Cruces New Mexico

Thrifting For Zero Waste In Las Cruces

By Shelby Kapp and Suzanne Michaels
Courtesy of

Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary - Pet Adoption Las Cruces New MexicoA Las Cruces thrift store has been recognized by the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce as one of the 2017 top environmentally sustainable businesses in town.

Green Chamber President and CEO Carrie Hamblen says, “We launched the Sustainable Business Recognition Program in partnership with the South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA) to honor businesses in the community that implement zero waste practices.” Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary Thrift Store at 840 El Paseo Road was awarded third place, out of the fourteen businesses that submitted applications.

Safe Haven raises funds for the Safe Haven Animal sanctuary – a no-kill zone that shelters abused and abandoned animals, until they can be placed in new, loving homes.  While carrying out its mission, the Thrift Store has worked hard to be a no-waste zone.

Store manager Cassandra Lockwood explains the store fills a large recycling dumpster weekly with cardboard, paper products, plastic, and shredded paper, and notes, “Volunteers and customers collect and sell aluminum and tin cans usually once a month. We welcome can donations at all times! We use that as an additional way of funding the animal sanctuary.”

She adds, “The store now has more than fifty volunteers who make sure that nothing that comes to the store goes to waste.” In thrift stores everything being sold has been preowned, and is being given a second life. Even though not all donations make the cut to be sold, volunteers have found ways to put everything to good use.

Volunteer Juan Carrillo, senior work program participant, says, “All unsold or unusable electronics are recycled.” Worn towels donated by customers are used for cleaning at the thrift store and at the animal sanctuary. Broken eye glasses are passed along to be repaired and reused; unsold greeting cards are donated to elementary schools to be used for crafts or letters. Partial containers of cleaning supplies are used to clean the store.

If you have a sustainable business and would like to apply for the 2018 Sustainable Business Awards, the self-nominating period will be open November 15 (America Recycles Day) through December 31st. For more information contact the Las Cruces Green Chamber at (575) 323-1575 or

Green Connections is submitted by the South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA), managing recyclables, solid waste, and fighting illegal dumping for residents and businesses in the City of Las Cruces and Doña Ana County. You can reach the SCSWA at (575) 528-3800 or visit

Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary to Hold Annual Open House and Adopter Reunion October 8th

Safe Haven To Hold Annual Open House & Adopter Reunion October 8th

SHAS will be hosting our Annual Open House & 3rd Annual Adopter Reunion on Sunday, October 8th from noon-4:00p.m. at the sanctuary. Admission is free and all are welcome. There will be food, refreshments and tours of the sanctuary, where our adoptable cats and dogs reside. Well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome. A group photo of past adopters and their pets will be taken at 1:30p.m. The sanctuary is located at 6890 Eagle Road in Las Cruces. If you need directions or have any questions, please call 575-805-5338. Please make plans to come out to the sanctuary, we would love to see you!

Volunteer Spotlight

Ellen Flesher Safe Haven Animal SanctuaryMeet Ellen Flesher, a volunteer at the Safe Haven Thrift Store, where she has been donating her time for 8 years. Ellen works in the back of the store sorting donations and filling out receipts for the wonderful people who donate to the animals of Safe Haven. Ellen previously had two therapy dogs and wanted to do more for the animals of our community, so she decided to help by volunteering her time to benefit the animals of SHAS. Ellen is a big believer in the SHAS mission and the fact that we are a no-kill shelter. According to Ellen, “our sanctuary is just fabulous!”. She also appreciates that everyone she works with at the store is fun and friendly. Ellen has lived in Las Cruces for 16 years, and while she does not currently have any dogs, she has lots of turtles. She retired from the telephone company after 27 years and worked in security for Target for 11 years. Ellen has a son, daughter-in-law and three granddaughters in Las Cruces, two daughters in Clovis and a son in Midland, TX. When Ellen is not volunteering her time to Safe Haven, she can be found exercising, hot air ballooning, going to concerts and traveling. Ellen says she “loves our United States and wants to see more of it!”.

An Adoption Update From Mickey

By Mickey Franke (SHAS alumnus)

Mickey Adoption Update - Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary

More than ten months ago, my life changed forever: I was adopted. Now, I am not going to write a sob story about my time at Safe Haven. Though you can’t claim your own person or live indoors there, the grubb isn’t bad, and if you really work it, volunteers dole out treats and take turns walking you. Actually, scoring treats and attention was easier for me. See, I have only one eye, so when I cock my head and fold down one ear, I bark “I am vulnerable.” Admittedly, it works better with the women.

Maybe this is why I traveled to most of the off site adoption events and secured kisses, treats, massages, pony break walks, etc. Of course, all the dogs enjoy special treatment from their favorite adoption event volunteers, but my experiences go back years to original staff: Laura, Mina, Pam S., Brenda and Marsha. I do recall Marsha always loving on me, but I definitely smelled three other dogs on her. Too much competition to enter that pack. Then, something shifted. No longer did I detect a male dog scent on her. Fast forward to Christmas Adoption Event 2016, I wagged my way out of SHAS and into my forever home. Maybe it was that jingle bell collar Laura placed on me, but Marsha scooped me up, and off I traveled to the Organ Mountains and my forever home. Life is sweeter now: my own comfy bed, big yard, sofa for TV, grass fed beef (occasionally) and two female dogs (one big, one little). When that big lab nuzzles me, my past stretches farther and father away. However, my pet parent and I endured a period of adjustment.

Apparently, that male dog who used to live here rarely misbehaved. Come on. Didn’t he ever mark in the house? Or hump the females, Mocha and Mya? Puleeze! I guess that dog never killed anything either. After I snatched a baby rat, Marsha shook me to release it, but I just chewed faster and swallowed. Afterwards, she would not let me cuddle with her, but kept muttering something about my baby rat breath. She even buried the other baby rat, the one I did not get to. In a little white case, no less, go figure. Can you say neurotic? Am I a rat terrier/chihuahua or what?

Just when my pet parent thought she could leave me unattended in the yard, she caught me climbing our chain link fence in pursuit of the neighbors’ three male dogs. Now, those rescue dogs need an intervention. They attacked us through the fence, growling and spoiling for a fight. Ask Mocha, she never lies. Nevertheless, Marsha plucks me from the fence and herds me into the house, bemoaning my escape artistry. In time I will earn her trust.

Despite my age and hers, my pet parent and I have grown in love, trust and understanding. I am the only dog she totes to Yappy Hour. I get to meet and sniff other dogs; she gets to sip white wine and chill with friends. Sometimes, I get to nibble on salami from the cheese nosh. Of course, the event champions dogs like me, so we can all find forever homes.

To all my furry friends at Safe Haven, I send my cuddles, barks and licks. A special shout out to Trey, my former kennel mate. A warm woof to all who work or volunteer for SHAS, donate or support the thrift store. You make my story breathe life.

Dogs versus Cats

Dogs versus Cats – Which One is Right for You

by: Jessica Brody

Dogs versus Cats. It is a question that has been asked for centuries; which one makes the better pet, a dog or a cat? The answer is…both. Cats and dogs usually rank in the top five on almost all of the most-popular-pets-to-own surveys conducted around the world. In some parts of the world, cats come out ahead, while in others, dogs take the lead. And it’s no surprise that those two furry creatures are so highly regarded, as cats and dogs happen to be pretty awesome creatures. In fact, you would be lucky to call either one of them your fur-baby.

Studies show that owning either a cat or a dog can significantly improve the quality of your life. The simple act of loving on your pet can help decrease stress levels while aiding the release of good mood endorphins. Playing with your fur-baby can help strengthen your muscles and lower your risk for heart disease, and tending to your pet’s needs can help motivate you and ease loneliness. So, the question shouldn’t be which one is the better pet, but, which one makes the better pet for you?

Cats versus dogs, the decision of which one to choose should be largely influenced by your lifestyle; it should be influenced by your finances, the size of your home, the other people living in your home and your available time. Although they’re in constant competition with each other, cats and dogs are very different animals; dogs are needier, while cats are more self-sufficient. Dogs tend to be more social, while cats are more introverted. Dogs require more space and more out-of-pocket expenses, while cats are more budget-friendly. However, both animals are smart, compassionate, and loyal.

Dogs require more attention, walks, exercise and enough room to play; if you can offer this, then a pooch might be the right choice for you. And if you happen to have a busier schedule, you can always hire a dog walker or a pet sitter to take over when you can’t be there. Dogs also require grooming, vet care, and high-quality food to stay healthy, and these requirements can add up financially, so take that into consideration before you make the final decision.

The upside to owning a cat over a dog is that you don’t have to walk it; however, you do have to clean their litter box regularly. Cats also like to scratch, so scratching posts should be made available in multiple areas in the house. As mentioned earlier, cats tend to be a little more reserved, and most cats only come out to socialize on their own terms. If that is what you are looking for, then a cat might be the right choice for you.

After you have decided between a cat or a dog, you then it’s time to narrow down your choice of breed. All breeds of cats and dogs have different personality traits, so it’s up to you to research to which breed suits you best. If you have small children in the house, you will need to take that into consideration. Also, you will need to take your age and mobility into account as well. Once you have determined the ideal breed of cat or dog for your needs, considering looking for your new furry friend in shelters and rescue organizations, instead of at pet shops.

You want your new friend to become part of your family; therefore, it’s important that you show your cat or dog lots of love and affection and they will selflessly give you the same in return.

Safe Haven New Sanctuary Manager

Safe Haven Welcomes New Sanctuary Manager

Safe Haven New Sanctuary Manager Cass Walker

We are proud to welcome our new Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary Manager Cass Walker.

Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary is happy to welcome Cass Walker as its new sanctuary manager. Cass is originally from Long Beach, CA and moved to Las Cruces to be closer to family. He started volunteering with Safe Haven within a month of arriving in Las Cruces. Cass chose to work with Safe Haven not only because of his love of animals, but his strong belief in the SHAS no-kill mission and the work the sanctuary has done for over 20 years.

Cass is the proud father of his 15-year-old son, Julian, who also shares his love of animals. Cass is thrilled to be working with Safe Haven in his new role and hopes to make the sanctuary a warm and welcoming place to all who visit, from the animals, to volunteers and prospective adopters. Cass and Julian recently adopted Brownie, one of Safe Haven’s most beloved resident dogs.

Please make plans to come out to the sanctuary to meet Cass and welcome him to the SHAS family.

Volunteer Spotlight

Monica & Safe Haven’s Buddy at recent 3K Doggy Fun Run

Monica & Safe Haven’s Buddy at recent 3K Doggy Fun Run.

Monica Arvin is a volunteer dog-walker at the sanctuary and began volunteering after her beloved dog of 14 years passed away. She decided to volunteer for Safe Haven as it made her sad to think of homeless dogs that did not have toys, beds or families to love them. Monica wanted to be a better person by giving back the love she had received from her dog to the sanctuary dogs. “Knowing that I make a difference in the lives of the dogs I walk is my favorite part of volunteering”.

Monica and her husband Alan moved to Mesilla from Monterey, CA to be closer to her parents. Monica and Alan had adopted their dog, Bee, from the SPCA. After Bee died at 14, Monica decided she did not want another dog. However, after she met Tas, a cattle dog mix at Safe Haven, she knew they were meant to be together. Monica fell in love with Tas the moment he put his paw on her leg as she brushed him. Monica says that although she rescued Tas, she considers herself to be the lucky one because Tas chose her.

A Family Vacation: Pet Travel Tips

By Marsha Franke

A Family Vacation: Pet Travel TipsAfter battling spring winds and allergies, summer rewards you with water parks, barbeques and vacations. For those of you with well-behaved dogs, traveling with your pet completes family vacation time. Before launching your journey, you may want to consider these suggestions. Probably, you would not embark on an excursion unless healthy and eager. Make certain your pet’s physical condition qualifies him as well. Obtain an updated vet certificate illustrating inoculations. Also, make sure your dog has been given heartworm prevention medication. Depending on your destination, be proactive in protecting your furry companion from other health hazards. Always provide proper identification for your pet, including updated microchip registration.

A few days before you leave, check again with your hotel/motel/lodge to ensure pets are accepted. Occasionally, policies change after you have reserved lodging. If driving to your vacation spot, it is important your animal travels in a durable carrier/crate, which will protect him in transit. When you reach your location, the crate will provide a safe place for your pet as well. Of course, you have packed a few of your dog’s favorites {blanket, chew toy} to assure his comfort. Finally, when driving long distances, break the routine with frequent stops. Both you and your pet will benefit. Perhaps you prefer flying to your destination. How will your dog fly? Checked baggage? Passenger cabin? For detailed policies regarding animal transport, it is essential to investigate before booking. Transporting a dog as checked baggage will require an airline approved carrier that is sturdy and well ventilated. A small pet in a carrier may travel in the passenger cabin. However, you must tuck the carrier under the seat in front of you. Check with fellow travelers/dog owners who have experienced air travel with their pups. Their experiences may help you avoid vacation woes.

Wherever and however you wander with your pet companions, planning and preparation will enrich your recreation. You should return from vacation refreshed, relaxed and replete with family memories. Bon Voyage!

Volunteer Opportunities

Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary Volunteer Opportunities.

The sanctuary is in need of volunteer help in all areas. If you can spare a few hours on a consistent basis, our manager will be glad to match you with an available position. Please visit our website to fill out or print a volunteer application. Volunteers are the backbone of Safe Haven! For more information on this rewarding opportunity, contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Tricia, at (575) 805-5338 or

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