The Sierra County Humane Society has two types of volunteer opportunities at Desert Haven Animal Refuge. You can be a Work Camper or a Local Volunteer.

Volunteer Opportunities

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give” ~Winston Churchill

Both local volunteers and DHAR work campers share in the operation of the small, no-kill companion animal sanctuary located a couple of miles from Truth or Consequences, NM. Activities include caring for the sanctuary’s residents – dogs and cats- all of them rescued from situations that endangered their life or their health. At Desert Haven, the residents are given a new chance at life until they are adopted into forever homes or to until they pass on from natural causes. Aside from helping feed and care for the small creatures for whom the sanctuary is home, dog-walking and kitty-cuddling are also a part of daily volunteer and work camping activities.

Individuals with special skills or interests are welcome and encouraged to give a hand in special projects, such as:

  • Building insulated dog houses, feline furniture and kitty condos
  • Painting small and large projects.
  • Grounds keeping and beautification within the sanctuary, perimeter, at the adjacent Rainbow Bridge Pet Cemetery and also inside DHAR campground.  
  • Computer projects such as updating DHAR Petfinder files, etc.


Desert Haven offers seasonal and long term work camping opportunities to service oriented RVers interested in exchanging time, experience and skills for a spacious FHU RV site with WI-FI.  Work campers routinely commit for a minimum of 3 months of service unless other arrangements are agreed to, in advance, by both parties. Single work campers commit for an average of 20 hours of service per week. Couples are expected to share an average of 30 hours.

Local Volunteers

Local volunteers who enjoy working with small domestic animals are invited to become part of the team that handles daily Animal Care. Animal Care takes place at the same time every morning and again for an hour or more during mid to late afternoon. Animal Care Volunteers are usually on location for approximately 2 hours  per morning shift. These volunteer activities include walking dogs, grooming and cuddling felines while giving plenty of attention to the companion animals of their choice.  If they wish, local volunteers can also help the staff sweep some areas, empty litter boxes, etc.

Service Oriented Groups are welcome and encouraged to visit and volunteer at Desert Haven. They are invited to take on special projects, such as grounds maintenance and upgrade. Groups with specific skills and goals are welcome to handle building and repair projects. All Youth groups are expected to be chaperoned by at least one responsible adult above 21 years old.

Service oriented groups include:

  • Church Youth Groups
  • Boy  &  Girl Scouts
  • Classrooms
  • Senior Groups

Local Volunteer Application

if you are interested in Work Camping please visit this page.

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