Desert Animal Companions of the Navajo Nation

    [Spring/Summer, 2004]
  • The May 2004 issue of Best Friends Magazine contains an article about animal welfare issues and Native American communities on the reservation. Read the article online.

  • Second annual Crownpoint All-Mutt Dog Show, at the BIA Crownpoint Community School Housing Field took place on April 25 at 11 a.m. Kids came out with their dogs, for contests, prizes, snacks, and lots of fun!

  • New materials from the Navajo Nation Veterinary & Livestock Program include the 2004 NNVLP mobile spay/neuter schedule, information on animal care, and a puppy program brochure and flyer. Please print them out and distribute them in your community! (Acrobat required.)

  • Second Chance Center for Animals of Flagstaff, AZ, received a sizeable donation from PetSmart Charities. The donation is earmarked specifically for the infrastructure underlying the spay/neuter clinic to be housed in the new hospital. Read the March 2 article entitled "First-rate help for Second Chance," by Seth Muller published in the Arizona Daily Sun.

  • Navajo Nation Animal Control Laws now available (in pdf format) on this site.

  • [Fall, 2003]
  • Read the Fall/Winter 2003 Blackhat Humane newsletter to find out more about what Blackhat has been up to. (Requires Acrobat).

  • Many tourists passing through Navajoland want to do something to help the animals. Read an article about free-roaming dogs on the Navajo Nation, and some of the complexities involved in trying to help them.

  • Plateauland Mobile Veterinary Clinic Fall 2003 newsletter is now available. Read it to get an update on Plateauland's busy year providing services. (requires Acrobat) If you shop at Basha's market, between September and January you can use your Thank You card to give a donation to Plateauland. Find out more details in the newsletter.

  • There are recent additions to the Navajo Nation Veterinary & Livestock Program home page about the West Nile Virus. There is also an article about Navajo Nation Veterinarian Dr. Scott Bender's work on Navajoland, and his contribution to diagnosing scrapie in sheep.

  • Read an article in the new RAVS newsletter about Dr. Ila Davis and the beginning of RAVS. Then, sign up for the newsletter!

  • Desert Animal Companions now has 15 units of the RUFF curriculum available online. This bilingual Navajo/English curriculum combines humane education with culture, history, and storytelling and was created by Susan Fadler. It is available for educators wishing to use it.

  • Read an article in the Navajo Times, published on October 9, 2003, about Navajo Nation Animal Control's lack of funding, difficult job duties, and attempts to deal with animal control issues on Navajoland.

  • The Robert T. Wilson Foundation broke ground on a new animal hospital on the outskirts of Flagstaff in September, 2003. Read about the plans for The Northern Arizona Second Chance Center for Animals, published in the Arizona Daily Sun on September 18, 2003. Read another story about the groundbreaking here published in the Arizona Daily Sun, September 23, 2003. The facility will measure 17,000 square feet and will include low-cost spay-neuter services three days a week. This will free up the Plateauland mobile clinic from its current commitment to provide spay-neuter services in Flagstaff. The shelter will also include 40 dog runs and space for 40-60 cats. Plateauland will work with Arizona Humane to transfer animals for adoptions. The hospital will be primarily for animals rescued from the Native American reservations that have no other place to go. These animals often have diseases such as mange, distemper, parvo or other health needs. Their needs will be assessed at the hospital and treatment will be administered. Once the animals are healthy, they will be placed for adoption, either in Flagstaff or in Phoenix. This facility is a much anticipated piece of the puzzle in the struggle to assist reservation animals to have better lives. The Northern Arizona Second Chance Center for Animals has its own web site here.

  • National Geographic News has published an article entitled "U.S. facing feral dog crisis," by Maryann Mott, on August 21, 2003, that contains a lot of info about the growing problem.

  • Sky Ark, a group that utilizes volunteer pilots to help rescues and animals needing medical attention, has completed a mission to fly Blackhat Humane rez dogs from Arizona to New Jersey!! Read about it here: "Dogs Take Wing". Sky Ark also has a wonderful recap of their mission, from the pilot's point of view, including why they named it "Riders of the Storm."

  • Navajo Nation Veterinary and Livestock Program faces severe budget cuts that would eliminate Navajo Nation Veterinarians. Also, learn about how the NNVLP has fought for funds to deal with the West Nile Virus on Navajoland. Here's more info on the NNVLP program to vaccinate horses against the West Nile Virus. Hear the August 26, NPR Morning Edition segment on dealing with West Nile Virus on the Navajo Nation.

  • How did two visitors from the state of New Jersey become catalysts for a large network, trying to help the stray dogs of Chinle? With Blackhat Humane, a rescue group of dedicated foster families, and a network spreading across the country, there is progress in getting help for the dogs. Read about it here, and find out how you can be part of this chain of help. Also, you can now donate to Blackhat Humane online

  • We wish to acknowledge our sadness at the passing of Nathania Gartman, one of the founders of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, an awesome person who cared deeply about animals and children. Nathania devoted herself to Humane Education, carrying a vision of children learning about our relationship with the animals from a young age, and created a program for Humane Education on the Boys and Girls Clubs across the reservation. She will be deeply missed.

    Sharon Morgan, LaVonda George, and Nathania Gartman at the Boys and Girls Club of Shiprock, NM, in 2002.

  • Many heartfelt thanks go to Hilje Hague and Jason Lin of Kayenta, AZ, for putting their time, energy, and hearts into rescuing over 100 stray, abandoned and feral dogs and puppies from the streets of Kayenta over the last two years. Many tourists traveling through Navajoland to visit Monument Valley and other destinations in the Southwest have seen the dogs of Kayenta. Hilje has crawled under trailers, into ditches, and done whatever it takes to befriend and rescue needy dogs living on the streets of Kayenta. We also wish to thank Barbara Thrasher, Linnet Lockhart, and Wren Waters, who, with Hilje and Jason's help, rescued 24 dogs from Kayenta in February, 2003, and 9 dogs in 2002. These dogs were given sanctuary, loving care, and treatment at Bones Rescue (Better Options for Neglected Strays) in Covelo, CA, run by Barb Thrasher and Beverly Marshman. Many of these dogs have found wonderful homes, while some are still receiving specialized medical treatment and socialization at Bones Rescue. Please support Bones Rescue and thank them for what they are doing for so many dogs from Kayenta. Here is a little more about their story.

  • See the Navajo Nation Veterinary & Livestock Program 2003 Free Spay/Neuter Clinic schedule.

  • Voice of America News published an article about the effects of the drought on the Navajo Nation, published on February 16, 2003, written by Mike Osborne. The article includes information on a drought damage assessment by Glenda Davis, Director of the Navajo Nation Veterinary and Livestock Program, completed for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in hopes of securing relief aid for Navajo Ranchers.

  • The SNAP (Spay-Neuter Assistance Program) website lists information about all the spay/neuter providers on the Navajo Nation for 2003 -- including SNAP, Navajo Nation Veterinary Program, Plateauland, and the Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corp (University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine). See also their News Section for the most recent news about the Native American project. There are instructions and fees for the mobile clinic and an extensive "Ask the Vet" section for lots of information to help make good decisions for the health needs of your pets. See the Plateauland Mobile Veterinary Clinic's schedule here.

  • See photos from Desert Dawg Rescue's Humane Education Program at the Boys and Girls Club of Shiprock and successful adoption stories.
  • [Summer 2002]

  • The Pegasus Foundation offers an update during the Summer of 2002 about the coordinated work and progress of spay/neuter service providers on the Navajo Nation.

  • Desert Animal Companions wishes to thank SNAP, Dreampower Animal Rescue of Colorado Springs, CO, CARMA (Companion Animal Rescue and Medical Assistance) of Corrales, NM, and Gary Miles of Placitas Animal Rescue, Placitas, NM, for their assistance in spay/neuter services and rescue, foster, and placement of puppies during the summer of 2002. Also, many thanks to Best Friends of Kanab, UT, for their assistance with three special needs dogs.

  •   Animal Planet Rescue Truck visited the Navajo Nation, Window Rock Veterinary Clinic, April 22-26, 2002 and performed 230 spay and neuter surgeries for dogs and cats. The American Humane Association and the Navajo Veterinary & Livestock Program combined efforts to address the overpopulation problems of dogs and cats in Navajo communities. The Animal Planet Rescue Truck has been converted to a spay and neuter surgical clinic. Read this article in the Gallup Independent about the Animal Planet visit (article published April 18, 2002). Read another great article about Animal Planet's visit, with a lot of background on pet overpopulation issues on the Nation and what the NNVLP is doing to help with spay/neuter programs, education, and networking with nonprofit organizations.

  • [Fall/Winter 2001]

  • Desert Dogs, a film by Julia Hilder, had a special screening at the 26th Annual American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco, CA, on November 12, 2001. This press release on the SNAP website about the premiere of Desert Dogs in a benefit for SNAP in September, 2001, contains more background information about the film and the services that SNAP provides. Also, you can view a video clip about Desert Dogs on the KXAN TV (Austin, TX) station website. (Requires Real Player plugin.)

  • An article in the Gallup Independent on September 24, 2001, focusing on the Blackhat Humane Society in Window Rock, AZ, contains lots of good information and background about the group and its goals.

  • Desert Dawg Rescue was featured in the September issue of Best Friends Magazine. Francis Battista, rescue coordinator for Best Friends, flew down to Farmington, NM, in a single engine plane to pick up three rescue dogs from Sharon. After the meeting, Francis returned to Utah where two of the dogs were driven to the Animal Haven shelter in New York City by director Marcello Forte, followed by a crew from the television news show 48 Hours. The dogs were featured on the CBS Early show and then adopted out at the annual "Bark Breakfast" fundraiser at the Lowes Hotel. The 48 Hours piece should air sometime in April.

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.