Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988

Dave Harper

If you lose or find an animal in Placitas area, call the Animal Hotline at 867-6135. The Hotline is a nonprofit service run by Dave and January Harper to help reunite lost and found pets. Placing a Lost or Found in the Animal Hotline is a free service courtesy of the Signpost—we can sometimes even include a photo. Call Dave and January at 867-6135 or 263-2266 and leave a detailed message, or email the Animal Hotline at: (but call, too).


CAT: Black & white female Persian cat lost from the Village of Placitas on July 4. 5 year old spayed cat lost from near the Post Office, possibly spotted near the 7 mile marker and east edge of the Village of Placitas. Any info, please call 934-4680. #4002 (see photo)

DOG: Black Lab lost from the bosque in south part of Bernalillo (off Bosque Loop) on July 16. Female, 90 lbs, black with white chest, white fore paws and a white patch on her shoulders. #4003


CAT: Small Calico kitten found just west of the Village of Placitas on July 3. #4001


DOG: Skinny, gold colored dog seen off Camino de las Huertas, about a mile north of Highway 165 (Las Brisas Lane) in Placitas on July 12. Was wearing a pink collar. Medium size , very friendly dog who seemed hungry and thirsty and looked like she had been out a while. #4004


Animal News

Lalo’s pet prints:

Lalo loves to receive your pet and animal photos to print in the Signpost.
Email them to “Lalo” at:
Or mail prints to: Signpost, P. O. Box 889 Placitas, NM 87043

Whooo do you see?

Dear Lalo: I initially took a photo of a single Screech Owl on top of our outdoor sun screen. I went out a few days later and it appears that he brought along all his friends. They were lined up on top of the screen just looking at me. So I went in and got my camera and came back. They were all still there! It was difficult to focus in the dark like that and I had to use a flash to make it come out. They live down in the arroyo and come visiting nightly. They are Western Screech Owls. We also have a couple of Great Horned Owls that hang out on our roof. We often hear an owl, usually the Great Horned Owls, scraping the roof as they get their dinner at night. I have taken photos of the Great Horned Owls, too, but they are hard to photograph since they are very suspicious and wary. These Screech Owls are all fully grown. They’re not very big, as owls go.
    —Ken and Ann Smith


Lalo—I wanted to send you this photo of my lizard for your Fotos column.
I hope you like it. Because I sure did.
    —R. Roadrunner, Placitas —Gary W. Priester :-)

Mule deer poached near Carrizozo— reward offered

—Rachel Shockley

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is asking the public to help solve a poaching case involving three female mule deer. Department officers investigating the incident said the does were not field dressed, and the meat was left to rot.

The three deer carcasses were discovered on June 27, off Forest Service Road 441, known as the O-Bar-O Road, in the Lincoln National Forest. Department officers believe the deer were shot sometime during the previous day or night. The investigation is ongoing.

“These three does probably had fawns about a month ago and would have been in the process of raising them,” said Col. Robert Griego of Game and Fish. “Because of the senseless killing of their mothers, these fawns would be too young to survive on their own and are now presumed to be dead.”

The loss of these does, and likely their orphaned fawns, puts additional stress on an already struggling deer population and hampers management efforts.

“Poachers steal wildlife from the public, often committing their crimes in remote areas,” Griego said. “Many of these crimes go unreported, but if anyone saw something unusual in this area, we would sure appreciate any information they have.”

Anyone with information that can help in this investigation is urged to call Operation Game Thief, a wildlife tip hotline at 1-800-432-GAME (4263), or Ruidoso District Wildlife Officer Mark Holguin at 670-7335.

Operation Game Thief is offering a five hundred dollar reward for information leading to a citation or an arrest, and callers may remain anonymous.

For more information about Operation Game Thief, go to

Plague activity continues in the East Mountain area

—New Mexico Department of Game and Fish

The New Mexico Department of Health and the Department of Game and Fish report continuing instances of plague in the East Mountain area, which includes parts of Bernalillo, Torrance, and Santa Fe counties. Two animals, a mountain lion and a small raccoon-like mammal called a coati, from a nature park in Edgewood recently died from complications due to plague. The infected animals both died in late July.

Plague is a bacterial disease of rodents and is generally transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas, but can also be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, wildlife and pets.

Plague symptoms in cats and dogs are fever, lethargy and loss of appetite. There may be swelling in the lymph node under the jaw.

“It is very important to have children and pets avoid rodents and their burrows, especially if the rodents appear sick,” said Dr. Paul Ettestad, public health veterinarian for the Department of Health. “Pets that are allowed to roam and hunt can bring infected fleas from dead rodents back into the home, putting you and your children at risk. Also, if you have recently handled a rodent or been bitten by their fleas and you develop a high fever, and maybe also a painful swollen lymph node, you should seek medical attention.”

Symptoms of plague in humans include sudden onset of fever, chills, headache and weakness. In most cases there is a painful swelling of the lymph node in the groin, armpit or neck areas. Plague can be treated with antibiotics, but infected people and animals must be treated promptly to avoid serious complications or death. Physicians who suspect someone might be infected with plague should promptly call the New Mexico Department of Health at (505) 827-0006.

There have been two human cases of plague this year in New Mexico. Both people are still recovering. For more information, including fact sheets in English and Spanish, go to the Department of Health’s website at:

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