Sandoval Signpost
An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988
Dave Harper

If you lose or find an animal in Placitas (and the surrounding area) please call the ANIMAL HOTLINE! 867-6135. The Hotline is a nonprofit service to help reunite lost & found pets. Placing a Lost or Found in the Animal Hotline is a FREE Service. (You can sometimes even include a photo!) Call Dave & January at 867-6135. You can also email the Animal Hotline at, but call, also.



Found pit bulls

3 DOGS: Pit bulls lost from about a mile north of the Village of Placitas, off Camino de las Huertas in early July. 1 female about 2 years old and 2 puppies, one male, one female. They had been spotted about a mile further out on Camino de las Huertas on July 10th but have not been seen since. (See photo above) #3625 & 3626 & 3627

Lost dog

DOG: Malamute, female lost from Las Huertas Canyon near the 9 mile marker on Highway 165 in Placitas on July 21st. Nikki is grey and white with blue eyes and is 4 years old. She is about 85 lbs. and was wearing a red collar when she got out. She has tags and is microchipped. A malamute looks very much like a husky. (See photo left) #3637


DOG: Beagle, male, possibly a beagle cross seen running loose on Camino de las Huertas on July 3rd, about 1/2 mile north of Highway 165. Overweight male, brindle/black & white. #3628

CATS: Mother cat with 2 kittens seen just north of Highway 165 in Vista de Oro in Placitas Near the 4 mile marker. Grey mother cat & kittens were seen in early-mid July. #3631, 2 & 3.

Animal News
Lalo's Pet Prints

Mountain Lion Medicine Card

The Mountain Lion Medicine Card stands for power in leadership.

Mountain lion hit in Jemez Mountains


On July 17, Chris Wright-Swank and her husband Doug Swank were riding their Harley Davidson through the Jemez Mountains to witness the damage from the Las Conchas fire firsthand.

While heading east on Highway 4, around 3:00 p.m., between Bandelier and Los Alamos, near Sandia National Labs, a dark-coated female mountain lion shot out of the uncharred, forested side of the road in front of the moving motorcycle. The motorcycle struck the lion head-on. Bike, couple, and lion were catapulted into the air. Chris and Doug miraculously managed to stay on the bike during the collision, but the cat had been crushed underneath the tires. They pulled to the side of the road and slowly approached the cat.

Chris said, “It was so sad and a miracle we weren’t killed, too. I stayed with her and looked into her sky-blue eyes until she took her final breaths.”

Using his cellular phone, Doug called 411 to retrieve the numbers for the NM Department of Game and Fish, the police department, and Animal Control. All arrived shortly to the scene.

Animal Control spread the lion’s body out to measure it. They determined that she was middle-aged.

A Game and Fish officer surmised that the animal had probably ventured to the green side of the road near the lab for food and water and then was trying to go back into the burn to find her den. He said she looked to be in bad shape and frail and told the couple, “You probably did her a favor.”

Upon returning to their Placitas home, Chris, a massage therapist since 1979, told me that she was still shaken and tried to find solace by blindly shuffling her medicine cards and choosing one. “It was ‘The Lion’,” she said.

Chris hopes that by having this story told, it might bring further awareness of the devastation done by the New Mexico fires and the animals it has affected.

Watermelon Mountain Ranch wins $1,000 state prize

The votes are in, and Watermelon Mountain Ranch, Rio Rancho, has won a $1,000 prize for getting the most votes in the state in the second round of voting in The Animal Rescue Site’s 2011 $300,000 Challenge, together with The third round of voting began July 4. Supporters of Watermelon Mountain Ranch can vote once a day at

Sixty-seven shelters and rescue groups received grants in this round of voting, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 in various categories. A complete list of all winners in can be found at The Animal Rescue Site,

“This program, sponsored since 2008 by The Animal Rescue Site, has been a wonderful opportunity for members of all sizes to let their fans show their support,” said Liz Neuschatz, director of the Foundation. In addition, the Animal Rescue Site works with the Foundation to provide grants to members.

Watermelon Mountain Ranch posts its adoptable pets online at




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