Our Board

DESERT HAVEN provides a home-like environment for all companion animals on a space-available basis. As a no-kill facility, Desert Haven Animal Refuge operates under specific guidelines to provide a “Haven of Compassion in the Heart of Desert Country” for unwanted domestic animals.

We need continual funding so we are careful to take in only the number of animals that we can provide for long-term. Desert Haven receives no financial help from government entities, local or otherwise. We depend on private and corporate contributions to our non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization.

Contact us at 575-894-1694 or send an email to dhanimalrescue@gmail.com to ask about adopting a pet or for more information on any of the programs of the Sierra County Humane Society or Desert Haven Animal Refuge.

Our Board Members & Advisors

CC Crosthwaite

CC Crosthwaite has been a work camper twice at DHAR and a part  time employee after work camping.  CC has worked 25 years in Healthcare.  She holds an AAS in Respiratory Therapy, a BA of Science, and a MBA in Healthcare Administration.  She has been an educator and has managed multiple departments throughout her career.  She currently works for Sierra Vista Hospital in Truth or Consequence and has taken on the role of Director of Operations for DHAR

Susan Hafer

Susan Hafer brings to the board an ability to work with anyone and everyone, a strong sense of fiduciary responsibility, and an utter love of sweet and sassy puppies.

She’s a foster mom who specializes in tiny tots of the canine variety. The amount of dogs that are thriving in their adoptive families because of Susan Hafer’s heartwork taking them in as unwanted puppies is astounding. We are proud and grateful to call her a member of our Board!

Among many of Susan’s generous offerings to the board are her practicality and straightforwardness. We thank Susan for her leadership!

Kimber and Koda

Alan Hansen Begg

Alan Hansen Begg not only brings to the board that jack of all trades quality, he also has a proven track record for inspiring reverence and volunteerism in others. When Alan believes strongly in a cause, he freely shares his time and his opinion of that worthy cause with others, often inspiring them to push up their shirtsleeves right along with him!

Over the four years he’s lived in our community, Alan has taken advantage of opportunities to get involved in helping to make Sierra County a great place to live and visit. He has championed outdoor recreation and now Alan has set his sights on helping our small non-profit organization to regroup and thrive.

Alan believes in the benefits Desert Haven brings to our community and he intends to sing it from the rooftops. We are excited to call him a member of our Board!

Among many of Alan’s generous offerings to the board are his boundless energy and benevolence. We thank Alan for his leadership!


With 35 years of instructional experience, Connie is a semi-retired educator and author.  She holds a BA from the University of Colorado and a Master’s degree in Instructional Design.  She has been a volunteer dog walker since she and her husband moved to Elephant Butte in 2022. She is honored to serve as board secretary and to be a part of such an important community organization.

Greta Hansen Begg

Adoption Coordinator
Administrative Assistant & Animal Care Supervisor & Veterinary Clinic Liaison

Bob Brandis

Bob Brandis is a retired Engineer and has been a volunteer “kitty cuddler” at DHAR since 8/2021. Worked in the family hardware store through College, then began a career in data storage and backup engineering. Moved to T or C in 2005. Worked at Sun valley Hardware and Foxworth Galbraith  Lumber In T or C.

Kimber and Koda

Kimber Mayfield

Web Master

Kimber and Koda

Cary “Jagger” Gustin

Cary “Jagger” Gustin is a life long NM resident, born and raised on a NM cattle ranch.  Moved to T or C in May of 1967, inn time to wave to Ralph Edward’s in the Fiesta Parade.  Graduated from Hot Springs High School in 1972, then studied marketing and management at Western NM University.  Worked for the New Mexico Health Department, Veterans Home in T or C, and owned a rental business.  Retired now for 16 years, he dedicates his time to various Sierra County community Boards and is a State of NM Notary Public.

In Memoriam

Eliana Aubin

Founder & President since 1989- 2023 – SCHS
Desert Haven Manager & Work Camping Program Coordinator

With profound gratitude and deep respect, we gather to celebrate the extraordinary life of Eliana Aubin—a compassionate soul whose unwavering dedication illuminated the path to a better life for countless animals. Eliana’s indomitable spirit and the founding of the Sierra County Humane Society (SCHS) stand as testaments to her enduring love for all creatures.

In the hallowed halls of the T or C Public Library in 1989, Eliana, along with a group of like-minded advocates, embarked on a journey to transform the fate of companion animals in Sierra County. Their dream materialized as the Sierra County Humane Society (SCHS) which still thrives to this day.

Eliana’s vision surpassed the confines of a mere organization. In 1999, her tenacity led to the acquisition of the land that would become Desert Haven Animal Refuge (DHAR) which continues to be open for business. The Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe, which was sadly closed permanently in 2021, played a pivotal role in fundraising for the refuge’s creation.

The pages of time turned, revealing SCHS’s resourcefulness and the community’s unwavering support. Annual Have-a-Heart Dinners blossomed into vibrant dinner-dances, uniting fellow animal enthusiasts and generating crucial resources. Collecting aluminum cans, redeeming Bullocks receipts, and relying on the boundless generosity of supporters became the lifeblood of programs such as Fix Your Pet and Spay-a-Stray.

Now, under new management and operated by devoted board members, volunteers, and work-campers, DHAR thrives as a rescue where unwanted animals experience quality care and adoption.

Lorena Nelson

Advisory Board Member – DHAR

Jerry Aubin

Charter Member
Treasurer & Financial Advisor – SCHS

“Loved by Many – Respected by All”

Jerry’s passing in 2005 was a tremendous loss, not only for his family and friends, but also for Desert Haven. He was instrumental is purchasing the property for the sanctuary and in getting the no-kill animal refuge off the ground. The memory of his love and concern for others will live on forever in the hearts and minds of those who knew him. He left the world a little better because he was in it.

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