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).

Summer is upon us, which means cookouts, pop-up thunderstorms, and fireworks. Everyone loves to enjoy this time of year, but please be aware of the stress and anxiety that can befall your four-legged friends. The noise can cause them to jump fences, burst through windows, and run at the first opening they get. Be sure that your pet has current tags with owner name, phone number, and another number for a local contact. If your animal is an indoor animal only, it is a great idea to put “If I am outside, I am lost; please help me home!” or if they have a medical condition, “I need meds everyday; if I am outside, please call my family!”


DOG:  White, female 15-year-old Husky. "Jezebel" has a collar and tags. The phone number associated with the tags is having issues and if called, it does not pick up and owner cannot retrieve messages. She went missing June 11 around 8:30 p.m.
from Cedar Creek area in Placitas.  #4106


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


Hey Lalo, I’ve got a bobcat in my canale, and a whole family of them, too! I connected with the Fish and Game Dept of New Mexico and they basically said there is nothing that can be done—that they should move along once the kits are old enough. I asked, "So do you suppose they will always come back to this house?" He said, "Yup, most likely they will. They are territorial and so you must remember that you are living in their natural habitat."
—Janet Angel, Placitas

Lalo: Here is a juvenille Cooper’s Hawk that flew into our front courtyard in Placitas. —Jeff Vaughn, Jeff Vaughn Photography

One of two bear cubs is treated after being captured in the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Two cubs were tracked and rescued after the mother was euthanized for rabies testing after mauling a marathon runner.
Photo credit: —N.M. Department of Game and Fish.

Bear cubs rescued after mother killed over mauling runner

Signpost Staff

Two bear cubs missing after their mother mauled a marathon runner and was euthanized are now in the care of a wildlife rescuer.

The bears were in the Valles Caldera National Preserve when the runner participating in an organized marathon surprised them. The sow charged the runner inflicting multiple injures—from which the runner is recovering.

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish officers tracked and killed the mother bear under a Department of Health regulation requiring wildlife that attack humans be tested for rabies. The testing requires analyzing the animal’s brain.

Five days after the June 18 attack, a National Park Service biologist spotted the cubs. It took a few days to track them down after the initial sighting. When an officer, and a tracker with dogs, did find them, they scampered ninety feet up a tree. They stayed until a request for help brought a PNM utility crew with a boom truck and bucket able to reach the cubs. It was not necessary to tranquilize the cubs as a game officer snatched each one with a catchpole.

The cubs, a male and female, each weighed about ten pounds. They were turned over to an Española veterinarian who specializes in rehabilitating sick and injured wildlife

The game department anticipates the bears eventually can be released back into their habitat.

“It’s really good news the bears were caught,” Director Alexandra Sandoval said in a late June news release. “While this positive outcome doesn’t negate the sadness we all feel about last weekend’s events, it does lighten our hearts knowing the bear cubs are going to survive and be returned to the wild in the future.”

The department estimates the care costs for the cubs at six thousand dollars each and said donations to support that effort can be directed to the nonprofit Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation ( in Santa Cruz.

On July 14, the injured runner, Karen Williams of Los Alamos, testified before a legislative committee to advocate for a change in the law governing bear attacks. Williams suggested anyone bitten by a wild animal should have the option on a case-by-case basis to begin rabies shots instead of the animal being euthanized immediately. Williams also said she didn’t blame the bear for the defensive attack since she was in the bear’s home.

The Department of Health defends its rule saying wildlife that bite humans are presumed to be rabid until proven otherwise. While immediate treatment can prevent the disease, once symptoms appear, it is almost always fatal.


Good ol’ dog needs home

“Sally” is a sweet girl looking for a forever home. She’s a 13-year-old heeler/terrier mix who was hit by a car about six weeks ago. She was treated and has been living with a foster family, while she recovered from her injuries. She’s back in good shape and is ready to find her family. She’s calm and loving. She knows basic commands, is good with other dogs, but needs to be watched around cats. If Sally sounds like the companion you’ve been looking for, call Carol at 404-8554.

Ray Patterson Jr. of Placitas poses with the record fallow deer and the muzzle-loading rifle he used during the hunt. Photo credit: —Ray Patterson Jr.

Placitas hunter tags record fallow deer

—Bill Diven

A world record has come to Placitas after resident Ray Patterson Jr. brought down a fallow deer during a hunt in Texas.

Trophy Game Records of the World certified the record-based measurements of the buck’s rack. The formula based on various parts of the antlers totaled 512 centimeters, about twenty inches.

“I didn’t know it was a record,” Patterson said. “We kind of took a rough measurement on our own, and we had him professionally measured.”

The record is in the category of primitive arms as Patterson was hunting with a Thompson Center Renegade, a muzzle-loading black powder rifle fired with a percussion cap. The deer on the Las Catarinas Ranch, fifty miles northeast of San Antonio, was about 85 yards away.

The hunt occurred in July, 2015, but it was this past May before Patterson received the official recognition and the accompanying plaque.

While Patterson has been hunting much of his life, he said this was the first time he’d hunted fallow deer. In New Mexico, he favors hunting mule deer and javelina for the meat they produce. The venison from the fallow deer, he added, was about the best he’d ever eaten.

Patterson owns and operates Pat’s Mechanical, a mechanical contracting firm in Placitas.

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