Mittry Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Monday, January 5

The landscape photos in this post were taken at Mittry Lake National Wildlife Refuge, north of Yuma, Arizona.

1-P1020040Our camp is a situated between a rocky knoll and a cluster of palo verde. 

It’s pleasant, fairly well concealed, and has a nice view of the lake.  However, it is a three-pronged campsite.  Last night around 9 p.m, I hear vehicles pulling into the other two campsites.

1-P1020043Our neighbors are remarkably quiet throughout the night and the next day.  Even so, when Bridget and I receive an invitation from our friends to move our camp alongside theirs, I happily agree.

1-P1020046Our friends’ camp is large, elevated, and offers a splendid view.  I usually prefer not to camp close to others.  Since I haven’t seen these friends in a long time, being their neighbor is very appealing.

I hitch up the Best Little Trailer and move to their camp.

We enjoy each other’s company under their awning.  I’m served a supper of homemade pizza with fresh tomatoes, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, avocado, and lots and lots of cheese.  Boy, is it good!

1-P1020051Tuesday, January 6

Our friends decide they’re going to leave Mittry Lake.  They hitch up and pull away first thing in the morning.

Soon afterward Bridget and I are on our way to the Humane Society of Yuma.  At the reception desk I ask about Butters and I’m not surprised to hear he has been adopted.

I walk the aisles of the two kennel buildings.

The cages mostly hold large dogs.  Whenever I come to a cage holding a smaller dog it has a sign on the cage like this:

1-P1020074 Curious, I approach a worker.

“Excuse me.  I might be interested in adopting one of the dogs.  Can I adopt a dog that has one of these signs saying it’s going to a rescue group?”

“No, you can’t.  Once the dog has been promised to rescue, it’s put on hold until they pick it up.”

“You mean, if someone is standing right here, ready and able to adopt, someone who could take the dog home this very day, it isn’t allowed.  It has to go to a rescue group.”

“That’s right,” he answers, raising his eyebrows.  “I don’t agree with it myself.  We have people coming in here all the time wanting to adopt a dog and they can’t because it’s going to a rescue organization.”

“That doesn’t make any sense at all,” I remark.

1-P1020078“I know.  Like I say, I don’t think it’s right, but that’s the way it’s done here.”

“I notice they rescue all the easy-to-place dogs and the ones who really need to be rescued are left behind.”

He shrugs and shakes his head.

On the way out I stop at the reception desk.

“I’m trying to find a dog to adopt,” I begin.  “I notice dogs are held for rescue organizations.  I need to know when to come over here to check what dogs are available.  How often are dogs sent to rescue?  Is there a certain day?  How does that work?”

The worker doesn’t answer my questions.

“The best thing to do is come out here as often as you can and check the dogs,” he/she responds evasively.  (I’m being vague about the worker’s identity as I write this.  I don’t want the worker to get into trouble.)

“I see.  How much time elapses between the time a dog comes into this facility and the time it is put on hold for a rescue organization?”

The worker realizes I’m not going to let go. 

1-P1020042He/she pauses, obviously uncomfortable with my question.

“Well, there’s a list, a list of what kind of dog the organization wants.  When those dogs come in, we notify the rescue organization.”

“Really?” I respond.  “I see how that works.  The rescue comes in here, grabs the dogs before anyone can adopt them from you, and then turns around and sets a fee on them three times what your fee is.  Sounds like a racket to me.”

The worker nods slightly, giving me a direct gaze.

“You’re preaching to the choir, ma’am.”

1-P1020041Bridget and I are on the road tomorrow.

We’re leaving Yuma.  I don’t know if our next camp will have internet.  If you don’t hear from us, no need for concern!




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One Response to Mittry Lake National Wildlife Refuge

  1. rvsueandcrew says:


    I deleted all comments in an effort to eliminate negativity on my blog. I hated to erase such a thought-provoking and important discussion. You put a lot of thought, time, effort, and passion into your responses re rescue policies with adoption centers. I do believe everyone’s comments were well-read so your efforts were not wasted.

    Any additional comments under this post will be deleted automatically. I hope you understand.

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