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.



DOG: Husky, female, balck and white, lost from Camino de San Francisco (near San Francisco Hills in northeast Placitas in early November. 9- to 10-year-old spayed female. #3703

DOG: Sheltie, male, blue merle sheltie lost from the north part of Ranchos de Placitas on November 17. "Denver" is about 17 inches tall at the shoulder, has a big white ruff and is silver/grey in color. #3707 (See photo, left.)


DOG: Black and white, male dog (looks like a heeler cross, possibly part hound) with cropped tail found on Camino de San Francisco (about 2 miles northeast of the the Village of Placitas) on November 11. 35-40 lbs, not neutered. #3700

CAT: Grey cat, really fluffy found in the Village of Placitas. #3704

DOG: Lab, caramel colored, neutered male, dog found on Highway 165 in Placitas on November 13. fat and happy. #3705

DOG: White, husky type of dog found in the BLM land north of the western Placitas area (off Santa Ana Loop) on November 21. Very friendly, with a kerchief around its neck. #3708


2 DOGS: Two dogs seen running loose on Highway 165 by the Placitas Library on November 5. #3701&3702

CAT: Young black cat (with white markings) seen stray in Ranchos de Placitas on November 15. #3706

Animal News

Lalo's Pet Prints

Lalo’s Pet Prints

Email your pet photos to “Lalo” at:
Or mail prints to: Signpost, P. O. Box 889, Placitas, NM 87043.
He’ll post a photo or two each month in the Signpost.

“Sara” nose-to-nose with her best wild horse friend “Star.” —Lori Morgan

“Mesa” spots a Tarantula heading south through his back courtyard in October.
—Sandy and Nancie Gilbert

Pets posted online

—Kim Saunders

Gentle Souls Sanctuary, Inc., Placitas, has joined other animal welfare organizations in the area that list their homeless pets on, the oldest and largest database of adoptable animals on the Internet. The site currently has over 359,000 homeless pets listed, and it is updated continuously.

More than 13,500 animal welfare organizations in the U.S., Canada, and other countries post their pets on the site. See Gentle Souls Sanctuary, Inc. pets at:

A potential adopter enters search criteria for the kind of pet he or she wants, and a list is returned that ranks the pets in proximity to the Zip code entered. Adoptions are handled by the animal placement group where the pet is housed, and each group has its own policies. was created in early 1996 as a grassroots project by Jared and Betsy Saul to end the euthanasia of adoptable pets. Since its inception, the site has facilitated approximately twenty million adoptions, making it the most life-saving initiative in animal welfare.

Games with birds

—Michael Crofoot

My romance with wild birds got started when I was eight years old. I found a damaged bird, put him in a shoe box, and tried to feed him back to life. But the poor bird died. I can clearly remember going out at night into a big wind and lightning storm and burying her with heartfelt sadness.

Ten years later, I built an A-frame in the deep woods where I lived for five years. I started feeding the wild birds in my woods. My dog Freedom and I made up a game with birds: we would pick out one bird and try to follow her around in the forest from tree branch to tree branch. All three of us were surprised at the lengths we were going to communicate with each other. In the woods, I whistled with the birds—not whistling to the birds or at the birds but truly trying to sing with them, trying to match each of their song notes and melody. It all was about trying to see each bird as an individual, with its own unique story.

I have had many other remarkable adventures with the wild birds over the years. When I was on a fishing boat about two hundred miles north of the Antarctic Circle, there was one bird with striking coloration who visited with me three days in a row in the high seas.

Here in Placitas, I have been feeding a great bunch of birds for ten years. Now, I live on the second floor of a lovely, all adobe structure situated on land that borders the Placitas Open Space. Great bird adventures have become a regular occurrence.

A wonderful group of scrub blue jays comes to my feeders, their clan being about twelve birds strong, and I am once again trying to interact with each bird in a very personal way. There is the grandmother blue jay who has broken off her upper beak, so I wish her well every time she comes to my feeders. There are the two young and sleek scrub blue jays that come by who can be identified by their slightly smaller bodies, with breast shields having fewer of the streaks of gray that the older blue jays have. It is said that the young ones help their parents feed the newborn hatchlings, their younger siblings. And there are at least two of these jays which make their ‘food call’ to attract the rest of the clan to the shelled peanuts I line along my porch banister. There is one bird with whom I have played the nodding game. He nods his head and then I nod my head—we have gone as far as fifteen nods.

Sometimes I spread a few of the peanuts on the floor of my porch just inches from my foot. Two of the jays have invented a game where they land on the porch floor and work their way picking up and dropping peanut after peanut until they find the one they most want, which is almost under my shoe.

When I really concentrate on the scrub jays’ communication, I hear them talk with seven or eight distinct blue jay sounds. There is a high, growling song they make when there is a flush of new feedings… a similar quiet growl when one challenges another… the wheeet that comes from just one bird, and then that very quiet blue jay murmur I have heard now and then.

Five times now, I have been visited by a large flock of Pinyon Jays. I have had thirty or forty of these gregarious jays come to feed. The scrub jays just feed with their mountain cousins, unconcerned.

I have only had one curved bill thrasher come visit, and she visits with me every day. In the early morning, this thrasher comes to my porch not for feed, but just to visit. Yesterday, she perched for a good twenty minutes on one of the short juniper branches I have strapped to my banister for bird landing pads, and there she was, looking at me through the window. My New Mexico bird book says that this type of thrasher “calls a loud two-syllable ‘whit-wee.” I beg to differ. We have sung with each other in many ways: with me, trying to match her expanding songs note by note and to follow her melodies. We have gone as long as five minutes, trading all sorts of sounds. It is as if she is helping me learn her unique and diverse language. She feeds with the blue jays who give her a wide and respectful berth. The thrasher makes a rather loud tap on the feeding boards, and one scrub blue jay has taken up this habit of feeding with loud taps

Then there is the great bunch of gentle black-eyed juncos and also the house finches that come to feed every day. The juncos have a quiet and very lovely song, which I imitate as best I can, and they seem to like it as they often sing little bits of other songs while I whistle to them. It is like singing a duet. The juncos will be feeding on the floor five feet away from me, and several will work their way much closer to me, peaking at the ground as if there were seeds, though there are no seeds there. I interpret this as their way to get close to the giant that feeds them, curious as to what kind of animal I am.




      Ad Rates  Back Issues  Contact Us  Front Page  Up Front  Animal News   Around Town  Sandoval Arts   Business Classifieds  Calendar   Community Bits  Community Center  Eco-Beat  Featured Artist  The Gauntlet Health  Community Links  Night Sky  My Wife and Times  Public Safety  Real  People  Stereogram  Time Off  Youth