Desert Animal Companions of the Navajo Nation

Kayenta, AZ

Several years ago, Barbara Thrasher traveled to Navajoland as a volunteer vet tech with Remote Area Veterinary Services (formerly Remote Area Medical) in conjunction with HSUS, who bring mobile spay/neuter, humane education, and veterinary services to remote rural areas in need. Barb's experience made a lasting impression on her, and ever since then she has been drawn back to the area to keep trying to help. A friend connected Barb with Hilje Hague, living in Kayenta. Hilje feeds the animals living on the streets of Kayenta on a daily basis, befriending them, assessing their condition and situation. Hilje was able to round up a bunch of stray animals and have them ready, and Bones Rescue was able to bring 24 animals back in one trip (11 were puppies, plus 2 doves and 1 cat). The same friend brought 9 dogs to Bones Rescue from Kayenta in 2002. All of the dogs from that trip have found good homes. Many of the dogs from the February trip to Kayenta have also been placed, but some of them have health problems that have yet to be resolved.

Here are some of these dogs' stories.

Zeke, Lady and Henry in California
Henry, Lady, and Zeke in California.

Zeke in CaliforniaThis is Zeke who was found living in the desert curled up in the sand. Someone had put a collar on Zeke as a puppy and then abandoned him. The collar had grown into his neck and made him appear to have a really big head... he was having trouble swallowing and moving his head. The injury to Zeke was quite severe, and after removing the collar and getting him on antibiotics the wound slowly healed. Since that time Barb has had surgery done on Zeke's neck to remove some of the old tissue and he is now able to lift his head better. It is amazing to know that after all his suffering, Zeke has the sweetest disposition... a real gentle Ben. Zeke has had 2 surgeries on his neck and is still healing. He is a wonderful dog, and will be hoping for his forever home when he is ready.

Lady in California

There is also Lady, who has Canine Transmissable Venereal Tumor. She is receiving weekly chemotherapy treatments. She is responding remarkably well and after four treatments the tumor is almost gone. She will have to have 2 more treatments after it is completely gone. We are hoping that will be soon.

Lady Bug needs your help!
Lady Bug was rescued from the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona in February. She is a very sweet dog who is less than 2 years old. She has been diagnosed with a rare type tumor that responds to chemotherapy. Lady Bug will have weekly chemotherapy injections. The cost is $90 per treatment. She will need 7 - 10 treatments. We are making this happen, but need some help. A donation for her first treatments have already been received. We are a non-profit group and any donations will be tax deductible. Thank you for your support. Donate to Bones Rescue.

Henry in CaliforniaThen there is little Henry. He was found with an old break to his hip that had healed without treatment. The vets in Flagstaff recommended we leave it for awhile to see if it bothered him, with amputation as an option. Bones Rescue has found a vet that is willing to try to repair it, and if that fails then amputate. Bones Rescue will be taking him about 7 hours down to Salinas at the end of May for that procedure.

Sunny with Tucker, her pupSunny

Some construction workers brought Sunny's newborn puppies to Hilje after they found them in the corner of a foundation at the construction site. Hilje bottle fed them overnite and then Jason went to the site the next day and found Sunny, who was elated to be reunited with her puppies. She was the best mom and took such good care of her puppies. They all grew to be beautiful healthy pups. She is very loving and mellow and is hoping for a home of her own. She's a great dog with a sunny personality.

Bones Rescue will also be taking "Kayenta" for hip surgery. He also had an old injury that healed improperly.

Lastly, Rosie. She lived behind Burger King, always alone and doesn't care for other dogs. Hilje fed her daily for about 8 months. She would never allow herself to get close enough even to Hilje to be touched. We drugged her food and managed to catch her. She is a little doll, Corgi mix? She is healthy, but has a blind eye. We had her home for over a month in close quarters until she finally decided we were her friends. She is allowing others to pet her now, and is pretty comfortable with Barb. She may just stay with Barb, for now as she isn't ready for adoption yet.

Most of the others have been adopted and Barb says that she is happy to say she thinks they got wonderful homes. Barb works closely with Dr. Eric Davis that is the coordinator for Remote Area Veterinary Services.

While every effort has been made to insure reliable and accurate information, any errors or omissions are the sole responsibility of the webmaster, Rose Z. Moonwater.