The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Dave Harper (right) and friendAnimal Hotline is a nonprofit community service for lost/found pets in Placitas and Bernalillo
P. O. B. 812, Placitas, NM 87043
To report a lost or found animal, Call Dave Harper at 867-6135 or e-mail

People with pets for adoption or sale should place a Signpost classified ad or consider a $5 donation to the Animal Hotline to run the information in this column. Lost and found listings and adoptions for found animals are run in the column for free.

For lost/found pets in Placitas and Bernalillo, call Dave Harper at 867-6135

Spooky is lost
I’m lost! —”Spooky” #1961

Lost cat
I’m lost, too! #1968

If you find or lose an animal in Placitas or the surrounding area, call Dave Harper at the Animal Hotline. Placing a lost or found notice in the Hotline is a free service.


DOG: Chow-shepherd mix with reddish-brown coat lost from Pine Court in Ranchos de Placitas July 1. About fifty pounds, named Copper. #1955

DOG: Female Jack Russell terrier lost 1.5 miles north of the village of Placitas in early July. #1959

CAT: Female calico (white, grey, tan) cat lost from Placitas the first week of July. Longish hair with a brownish stripe down the middle of her face. #1960

CAT: Black longhaired cat lost from Cedar Creek (about 2.5 miles north of the village of Placitas July 11. Eight years old. Half indoor, half wild. Has a white blaze under her chin. Good sized cat named Spooky. See photo. #1961

CAT: Part Siamese, part Manx (half tail) cat lost from the village of Placitas in mid-July. Named Jade. #1962

CAT: Black-and-brown neutered male tabby (striped) lost about three miles north of the village of Placitas (off Camino de las Huertas) on July 15. Has a large amount of white on his belly. Has microchip. #1964

CAT: Bengal neutered male, black and gold, about two and a half years old, lost from Tierra Madre Court (just a quarter of a mile north of the Merc) on July 18. Wearing collar with two bells on it. He is microchipped. #1967

CAT: Black-and-white, seven-year old neutered male cat lost from Rio Rancho, Timor Road, near Rainbow Pool. Lost early July. Owner desperate. Please call 934-4053 or 896-2018 if found. See photo. #1968


DOG: Lab mix found in Sundance Mesa (western Placitas area) in early July. Neutered roan-colored male with really nice red nylon collar. Taken to Placitas Animal Rescue. #1958

DOG: Boxer mix, female (not spayed) found on Highway 165, near the Village of Placitas, on July 23rd (after one of the storms). #1969

Animal News

Living with wildlife

This is a good year for rabbits and mice, a good year for coyotes, owls, hawks, and snakes. In general, this is a good year for wildlife. And sometimes that means trouble for homeowners.

Poison is not the answer. Let's include sticky traps as well—they are a slow, inhumane way of killing animals. We have alternatives in today's age of technology to controlling unwanted rodents, that include live and electronic traps.

Lost rodents like tight, enclosed, dark places. If vehicles are going to be parked for a couple of days or weeks, keep the hood open a few inches. In the wintertime, many people put mousetraps under the hood of their cars and end up killing birds instead of mice. If you feel the need to use a trap, products like the Rat Zapper are easily used in small places like cars. The Rat Zapper works with batteries and has to be baited so that the mice walk into the enclosed trap. This will help ensure the safety of rabbits and birds, and these traps can be placed almost anywhere.

Live traps and house cats are two other wonderful options, but unfortunately, they have drawbacks. Once trapped, live animals need to be transported many miles away, and not released around someone else's home. Outside cats have a very hard time surviving the owls and coyotes that live here.

Keeping the area around your home clean and picked up is the key. Keeping woodpiles off the porch, and low-lying landscape cut up, off the ground and away from your home will help a lot. Try to keep your garage door closed and use aluminum foil to plug any holes to keep rodents out.

One of the best things you can do for the animals is put out fresh water in summer and winter. Keep the water dish clean (change at least once a week or so), and move it so that little things do not make their home under it. To clean water dishes, just dump out the water, scrub them clean and let them dry in the hot summer sun. This should kill anything that might contaminate the dish. In wintertime, use a little Clorox to clean the water dish and let it dry. Put a large rock into the water so birds or animals can stand on it, or if anything falls in the water, it can get out.

You can enjoy the wildlife without feeding it. Just remember that living in rural areas has both its beauty and its drawbacks.

Linda Perrini is a wildlife rehabilitator who lives in Placitas.

Botulism kills ducks in Rio Rancho

Two ducks found dead in a lake at the Chamisa Hills Golf Course in Rio Rancho in June died of botulism poisoning, according to tests released by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and Veterinary Diagnostic Services laboratory in Albuquerque.

The Department of Game and Fish requested the tests June 29 after area residents delivered the dead birds to the Department’s Albuquerque office. Earlier tests were negative for strychnine poisoning and avian influenza.

Kerry Mower, wildlife disease specialist for the Department of Game and Fish, described the botulism outbreak as a natural occurrence possibly fueled by warm weather, recent heavy rains, and decaying organic matter in the lake sediment. High water temperatures can cause oxygen levels to drop, and low oxygen contributes to botulism bacteria growth. The amount of bacteria increases when lake sediment is stirred up by heavy runoff, and the conditions worsen as more organisms die in the lake, Mower said.

“Once it gets started, it sort of feeds on itself,” Mower added. “The maggots on the dead ducks also pick up and concentrate the botulism toxin, and other ducks and birds that eat the maggots become poisoned. The best thing to do is to clean up all the dead ducks and wait for cooler weather and the sediment to settle.” State agencies also have asked Chamisa Hills Golf Club to better aerate the pond.

State epidemiologist Dr. Paul Ettestad said the botulism poisoning found in the ducks at Chamisa Hills should pose no threat to humans or their pets. “This is different than the type of botulism poisoning people get from canned food,” he said. “But just to be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to keep yourself and your pets away from the water and the dead ducks.”

Residents are urged to not touch or move any sick, dead, or healthy ducks or other waterfowl from the immediate area. They should instead call Animal Control in Rio Rancho, at 891-7237, for proper isolation or disposal. Residents many also contact Chamisa Hills Golf Course directly, at 896-5000, or New Mexico Game and Fish, at 222-4700.

Cattle-killing Mexican wolf shot dead; three more wolves to be released in NM

A Mexican wolf that was involved in at least three livestock killings in the past year was shot and killed May 28 by a member of the wolf-recovery team. A permanent removal order for the lone male wolf was issued May 24 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after the wolf was confirmed to have killed a cow in southeastern Catron County, New Mexico.

In the past two weeks, nine Mexican wolves have died during removal efforts resulting from livestock depredations. May 24, the Fish and Wildlife Service reported that seven wolves—an adult female and six very young pups—removed from the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, in Arizona, died after they were trapped and moved to holding pens. The alpha-male wolf of that pack was shot and killed.

Wolves in the recovery program are designated as a “nonessential experimental population,” which allows the recovery team greater flexibility to manage the wolves under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act. The designation permits permanent removal of a wolf, either by capture or lethal means, following three confirmed livestock deaths.

“We continue to work with the Fish and Wildlife Service to prepare federal rule changes that will promote more effective recovery areas and diminish the likelihood of problem wolves in New Mexico,” Department of Game and Fish director Bruce Thompson said.

The rules of the wolf-restoration program prevent direct releases of wolves into New Mexico that have not been previously captured for management purposes.

The recovery team also announced that three Mexican wolves—an adult male and two female yearlings—will be released in early June in the Gila Wilderness. The male wolf was captured and removed from the wild in 2005 after it was involved in a livestock death. The females were removed from the wild in 2005 as a result of cattle depredations by the adults within the pack.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service now estimates there are thirty-two to forty-six endangered Mexican wolves living in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico since the reintroduction program began in 1998. To view the wolf distribution map, which contains the most recent three months of wolf locations taken from aerial surveys, visit the Arizona Game and Fish Web site, at, and scroll to the Distribution link on the Mexican Wolf Conservation and Management page.

For more information, visit or call 505-476-8000.





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