Desert Animal Companions of the Navajo Nation

Gallery of Tuba City Shelter Animals, July 29, 2004

Recently, the Spay/Neuter Partnership concluded a week of services at Kayenta, AZ (July 12 - 16). Services included mobile spay/neuter and vaccination clinics provided by Arizona Humane Society (Phoenix, AZ), Plateauland Mobile Veterinary Services (Flagstaff, AZ), and Spay Neuter Assistance Project (SNAP) (Albuquerque, NM). Best Friends Animal Society (Kanab, UT) provided humane education, and free collars and I.D. tags. The week of services included the assistance of many volunteers, including Patty Finch and Robin Mason of PETsMART Charities, Frank Ramsey, who is working with the Kayenta Township to open an animal shelter in Kayenta, and Rose Moonwater from Desert Animal Companions. Shortly after the week of services, there was also an evening of mange dipping and rabies vaccinations provided at the Navajo Housing Authority (NHA) in Kayenta by Navajo Nation Veterinary & Livestock Services Program Manager Glenda Davis, with assistance from NHA, Tova Salabye, outreach coordinator of SNAP and coordinator of the Navajo Nation Puppy Program, Stephanie Peebles from Environmental Health Services, and with funding support from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

Shortly after that, there was a roundup of animals at NHA by Navajo Nation Animal Control, under the direction of Mike Halona, Program Manager. Animal overpopulation and stray and roaming animals affect community health. Periodically, NHA requests a sweep or roundup by Animal Control in the housing area. Animal Control responds to these requests, for the benefit of the health of the community.

Patty Finch and Frank Ramsey took the initiative of requesting permission from Navajo Nation Animal Control for the humane groups to be allowed to reclaim animals from the shelter that were not picked up by their owners and who would otherwise be euthanized. With Mike Halona's permission, Best Friends was allowed to work inside the Tuba City Animal Shelter and to learn more about Navajo Nation Animal Control policies and procedures. Best Friends sent a team of people to work with the animals and provide transport to other humane groups that agreed to accept the animals for placement. Best Friends team members Sherry Woodard, Jean Hansen, Russ Mead, and Ed Fritz drove from Kanab, UT, to Tuba City, AZ. Sherry Woodard assessed the animals for temperament and health. Frank and Vickie Ramsey also assisted at the shelter. This was the first time that the humane groups were able to work inside the shelter, alongside Animal Control Officers, for the benefit of the animals. Many thanks to Tuba City Animal Control Supervisor Anthony Daw and Animal Control Officer Dale Lucero for their contribution to these efforts, and to Animal Control Program Manager Mike Halona.

It takes a huge network to make a positive difference for the animals. A big thank you to all of the groups who were willing to participate in this venture, and receive animals for placement. These groups include Arizona Humane Society, Blackhat Humane Society, Colorado 9 Lives Rescue, Denver Dumb Friends League, Colorado Humane Society, Humane Society of Boulder Valley, and Bones Rescue (Better Options for Neglected Strays) of Covelo, CA. Thank you to Bones Rescue for accepting animals with special needs and medical issues. Thank you for placement assistance to Patricia Klemick and Rose Moonwater, and to PETsMART Charities who provided funding support for transport and for veterinary services. The dedicated team of transporters provided exceptional services, with personal sacrifice by these individuals along with the commitment of organizational resources by Best Friends. These folks leave beloved animals at home while serving and falling in love with animals elsewhere. It's a long way from Tuba City, Arizona, to Denver, Colorado, and overnighting with nearly 60 animals is quite a feat! (For those counting, some animals had already been placed in Arizona.)

Thank you to Marie Hustafa for a warm welcome on the farm in Durango, CO. Thanks also to Alicia and Brian Christie, near Colorado Springs, and Patricia Klemick, near Boulder, for providing respite for weary transporters and sharing their home grounds. Words cannot fully express the gratitude that goes out to all who are part of the chain of help for the animals. Even small acts of kindness braid themselves into something that feels like grace.

This is Topaz, who became the team mascot for the journey. As an underage pup, she needed some special care. She received fluids and treatment for coccidia during the journey.

Below you will find a gallery of photos of many of the animals that were at the shelter. There were approximately 40 adult dogs, and about 26 puppies, and 3 cats.

All photos courtesy of Best Friends team members.

Gallery of Tuba City Shelter Animals

BarneyBen (on left)

Billy JeanBingo

BrendaCandy White







Mama MiaMaxine




SugarSheila Whoopie

MuffinDan the Man

ThiefEwok and Hitchiker


Mama PetiteEwok

Frecklespuppy with Ed

Puppy with EdPuppies in crates


Black catWhite cat

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