The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988


Dave Harper (right) and friendAnimal Hotline is a nonprofit service to help reunite lost and found pets with their people.
P. O. Box 100, Placitas, NM 87043

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.


Have you seen me? I’m a lost Blue Heeler.
Call Dave #3217

If you lose or find an animal in Placitas (and the surrounding area), call the Animal Hotline at 867-6135. You may also email the Hotline at, although it is definitely best to call first!

The Hotline is a nonprofit service to help reunite lost and found pets. Placing a lost or found notice in the Animal Hotline is a free service.

This month, one of our neighbors near Las Huertas Creek (in Cedar Creek, north of the Village of Placitas) saw a large wild cat which looked to be a lynx. Just wanted to remind everyone that we share our beautiful area with quite a number of wild animals, including mountain lions, bobcats, bears, coyotes, snakes, and many more. Please keep this in mind, and be careful with your pets and children.

Thanks to everyone who helped the lost animals get home this month!




CAT: Small, long-haired tortoise-shell cat lost from the Village of Placitas in late June. Lost from the high road, Camino los Altos at Camino Ciruela, near the radio tower. #3216

DOG: Blue Heeler, black, white and grey, male, lost from Bernalillo on June 24. Had a collar with contact info. #3217. (See photo)


CAT: Long, skinny cat, probably orange and white, seen in the back of Ranchos de Placitas, Camino Redondo on July 22. #3224


CAT: Tortoise-shell, two-year-old cat available to a good home. “Ragamuffin” is a beautiful, spayed female with short hair. Very friendly; gets along well with other cats. Call 867-0869. #3222

CAT: “Biscuit” is a short-haired, orange tabby who gets along with other cats, is friendly and handsome, and litter box trained. She is about two years old. Call 867-0869 if you can give her a good home. #3223

DOG: Weimaraner, spayed female, grey, seven years old, available to new country home. Pedigreed, with sweet disposition. #3225. Call Dave at 867-6135 or 263-2266.




Lalo’s pet prints

Howdy! This month I’m surrounded by a one-eyed cat and a dog with great breath. Sheesh!


Barnaby, 22, turns a blind eye to the snow—He’s sure glad it’s summer.


Ruby, toothbrush

Ruby, 11, always takes care of her oral health.




Mail your favorite pet photos, along with a caption and photo credit to:
Signpost, P. O. Box 889, Placitas, NM 87043
or email digital photos to:




Animal News


Illegal activity has caused multiple wolf deaths


Nine Mexican wolves have died in the wild since the beginning of 2008. Foul play was responsible for three of the deaths, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Necropsy results from the Service’s wildlife forensic laboratory are still pending for one wolf.

Female wolves known as AF1111, AF1112, and AF1113 were illegally shot. The fate of AM583 has yet to be determined. Mexican wolves are identified by numbers preceded with an ‘F’ to show adult female gender and an ‘M’ for adult male gender. The ‘A’ signifies the wolf was the lead, or alpha member, of the pack. Generally only the alpha members of a pack mate and bear young.

“I feel every wolf on the landscape deserves a chance to survive without being illegally killed,” said Benjamin N. Tuggle, PhD, Regional Director for the Service’s Southwest Region. “I am disturbed that there are suspicious circumstances around their deaths and I want to know what happened to each wolf. All of our available law enforcement resources will be used to conduct a comprehensive investigation.”

Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act. It can result in criminal penalties of up to $50,000; and/or not more than one year in jail; and/or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.

The Service urges any individual who may have seen any suspicious activities relating to the Mexican wolf deaths to contact one of the following agencies: USFWS special agents in Mesa, Arizona at (480) 967-7900; in Alpine, Arizona at (928) 339-4232; in Albuquerque at (505) 346-7828; the White Mountain Apache Tribe at (928) 338-1023 or (928) 338-4385; the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD)’s Operation Game Thief at 1-800-352-0700; or the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF)’s Operation Game Thief at 1-800-432-4263.

“I appeal to anyone with information that could help solve these cases to step forward and aid us in the resolution of these illegal shootings,” said Tuggle. The Service offers a reward of $10,000 for information leading to the apprehension of the individual(s) responsible for any wolf deaths.

The Service is also seeking law enforcement assistance from the other state and federal agencies involved in the wolf reintroduction program. “A strong cooperative law enforcement presence affirms that we won’t tolerate an illegal taking of any endangered species,” said Tuggle.

“These illegal actions are not going to stop the reintroduction program,” declared Tuggle. “We fully intend to establish a genetically sound population of Mexican wolves in New Mexico and Arizona.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the federal agency charged with recovering endangered species. The reintroduction of the Mexican wolf is a cooperative, multi-agency effort of the AGFD, the NMDGF, the White Mountain Apache Tribe, USDA Forest Service and USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wolves have been released into the wild since 1998.

Two wolves, f1104 and m1109, were accidentally hit by vehicles in separate incidents earlier in the year. One female, AF758, likely died of natural causes. Its young pups, f1116 and m1117, did not survive, likely as a result of losing their mother as the primary food provider.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit For information about fish and wildlife conservation in the Southwest, visit


Sir Robert

Sir Robert, a peregrine falcon

Wildlife West hosts falcon shows

The first in a series of Free Flight Falcon shows started July 20, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit. This popular weekly Sunday afternoon show runs through September 28th, 2008.

Tom Smylie, a local expert falconer, has over forty years of experience with raptors. He has done many research projects around the world with birds of prey, focusing mostly on peregrine falcons.

The audience will experience magnificent falcons up-close and learn how the fastest raptor on earth survives in the wild. Learn how peregrine falcons came back from the brink of extinction thirty-five years ago—with only two hundred birds in the wild—to become one of the most successful recovery stories in U.S. history.

Wildlife West’s resident peregrine falcons will also be part of the show; however, because of wing injuries, they will not be taking flight. Their experienced handlers will have them on display during the show and will be available for questions and photographs after the show.

Come early or stay late to visit the rest of the animals at Wildlife West! The park is home to twenty-five species, including endangered Mexican wolves, cougars, black bear, fox, javelina, hawks, and the new arrival… a golden eagle. All proceeds benefit native rescued wildlife.

The Free Flight Falcon show is free with regular admission to Wildlife West: $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for students, and kids under five are free.

Wildlife West is located just twenty minutes east of Albuquerque, off I-40 and legendary Route 66 in Edgewood. Events are presented in a covered all-weather amphitheater in an old west atmosphere.

For more information, call (505) 281-7655 or toll-free, 1-877-981-WILD (9453), or visit


Hyperthermia: cool it!


Imagine being dressed in heavy winter clothes on a hot day and that the only way to get cooled off is to pant. This is exactly how dogs and cats feel when the temperatures rise. It is important to be able to recognize the signs of hyperthermia or heatstroke and give correct, prompt treatment.


Heatstroke occurs when normal body mechanisms cannot keep the body’s temperature in a safe range. Brachycephalic breeds (the short-nosed breeds such as pugs), large heavy-coated breeds, overweight pets, seniors, young pets, and those animals with heart or respiratory problems are especially susceptible to heat-related stress and heatstroke.

Pets suffering from heatstroke will display several signs:

  • Excessive, rapid panting or difficulty breathing
  • Body temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or above
  • Bright red tongue
  • Red or pale gums
  • Thick, sticky saliva
  • Depression, weakness, stupor, seizures, shock, or coma
  • Vomiting


If an animal shows symptoms of heatstroke, get it out of direct heat and gradually lower the body temperature. Following these tips could save your pet’s life:

  • Spray the animal with cool water. If using an outdoor hose, run the water first to cool it off before spraying your pet. After spraying the pet for a minute or two, take the animal’s temperature.
  • Place water-soaked towels on the head, neck, feet, chest, and abdomen.
  • Turn on a fan and point it in the animal’s direction.
  • Get the pet to the nearest veterinary hospital.

It is important to remember not to use cold water. This can be counterproductive. Cooling too quickly and allowing the body temperature to become too low may cause other life-threatening conditions. Do not force-feed cold water as the pet may inhale it or choke. Instead, offer small amounts of cool water or let the pet lick ice cubes.


Any pet that cannot cool itself off is at risk for heatstroke. Following these guidelines will help your pet avoid serious problems:

  • Keep high-risk and outside pets cool and in the shade.
  • Provide free access to water at all times.
  • Do not leave your pet in a parked car—even if you’re in the shade. The temperature inside a parked car can quickly reach up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • On a hot day, restrict exercise.
  • Avoid concrete or asphalt areas where heat is reflected and there is no shade.
  • Wetting down your pet with cool (not cold) water, or supervising the pet swimming will help maintain a normal body temperature.

Death by heatstroke is preventable. Protect your pets by reviewing and following these tips and enjoy New Mexico’s warmer weather together and carefree.





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