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).


DOG: Italian Greyhound/Terrier mix lost in Corrales on November 23rd. "Sophie" is a very small dog, white with brown spots, who looks like a small greyhound. #3834.

Lost cat

CAT: Black and Grey Tabby Cat lost from northwest of the Village of Placitas on October 27th. "MR. Happy" is a very lean 12 year old neutered male. He was last seen near the end of Camino de la Buena Vista (downhill to the east of the Overlook). He is very cute. #3816. (See photo above.)


Found dog

DOG: Pit Bull Cross found in Placitas West (near the Forest Loop rd) in mid October. Brindle Pit Bull (possibly crossed with a boxer), male, who is super friendly and thinks he is a lap dog, all 55 lbs of him! He looks to be about 2 years old. He is very well trained. #3820 (See photo above.)

2 DOGS: A red Pit Bull and a Golden Retriever cross were found on the Forest Loop Rd (near the 3 mile marker of Highway 165) in Placitas on October 27th. #3817 & 3818.

Found dogDOG: Corgy mix, found near the Homesteads Village shopping center in western Placitas on October 29th. Sweet male dog. #3819. (See photo above.)

DOG: Reddish brown pit bull, male seen not far from the 8 mile marker of Highway 165 in Placitas in early November, then found later in the month. Female 3821.

DOG: Husky, male, unneutered, found off Tierra Madre Road in western Placitas, not far from Homesteads Village shopping center. #3832


Animal News

Lalo’s pet prints:
Lalo's Pet Prints


This is “Teddy” up to Monkey Business! —Annie Gross

Camp Pawsitive

Bridgette Cobb Proprietor Bridget Cobb, along with “Gracie” and “Bluebell,” welcome dogs into their home (Camp Pawsitive) for daycare or extended stays. They host a meet-and-greet on some Saturdays from 10:00 until noon to help pet owners and pets decide if they like it there. Dogs have the run of most of the house and a fenced quarter acre. Bridget is trained and certified in group dog-play. For more information, call Camp Pawsitive at 867-4408.

Horse shor with arrow

Wounded horse in Placitas

Horse shot in hip with bow and arrow

—Barb Belknap

It is not unusual on a Placitas morning to see a free-roaming horse herd walk through your neighborhood. However, on the morning of November 15, around 8:00 a.m., residents of the Cedar Creek subdivision were shocked to see that one of the herd—a gelding—had been shot with a bow and arrow. One resident called 911. Other calls were made to Sandoval County Animal Control and the Wild Horse Observers Association (WHOA). A Placitas resident called the Signpost to tell of the event and that they could plainly see the arrow protruding from the gelding’s hip. Police arrived soon after the call and made a report.

Gary Miles of Placitas Animal Rescue helped Patience O’Dowd of WHOA herd the wounded horse to his property where they awaited a vet’s arrival from Los Lunas. The rest of the herd stayed put, munching on a pile of hay offered to them by a local in the back of a pick-up truck.

An anonymous caller to the Signpost said, “I wonder who this “sick-o” could be—someone like that, who would shoot a horse with a bow and arrow, would also stoop to shooting a dog or other animals around our homes. People should know that someone like that is roaming around here in our neighborhood.”

Patience O’Dowd submitted the following statement for WHOA:

“Wild Horse Shot with Child's Bow and Arrow 11/15/12. The arrow was from a child’s bow and arrow. Animal Control and Placitas Animal Rescue worked with WHOA the entire day after WHOA received the call from Chris Landers of Cedar Creek early in the a.m.

Wildlife veterinarian Dr. MacDougal of Los Lunas Animal Clinic answered the call from WHOA and cleared his schedule. The arrowhead could not be retrieved as the shaft broke off just before treatment. However, the vet put two doses of long-acting antibiotics into the wound and administered a tetanus shot to the subdued horse. Dr. MacDougal said the horse’s body would build a wall around the small arrowhead and that the horse should be fine. After the sedation wore off, the horse got up and ran away with his family who were never far away!”

There is no indication that this incident is related to the growing population of free-roaming horses in the Placitas area. WHOA has been seeking official sanction to dart mares with PZP non-sterilizing contraceptives, but does not discuss a roundup.

WHOA announced in a recent newsletter that the New Mexico State Livestock Board had promised to expedite approval of PZP. New Mexico authorities have been slow to respond to the growing problem. Horse populations grow at rates of 18 to 25 percent per year. Unregulated growth causes overgrazing and affects herd health as well as native wildlife populations. The USGS, BLM, and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service are currently overseeing individual-based field trials of PZP in free-roaming horses. An article that recently appeared in High Country News suggests that birth control is the only humane solution and that wild horse lovers are the best way to get it accomplished.

Thirty-nine coyotes killed in coyote-killing contest

—Evan Belknap

On November 17 and 18, Gunhawk Firearms sponsored a coyote-killing contest in which the winner—he or she who killed the most coyotes in two days—would win a free shotgun. The contest was heavily frowned upon by animal activists in New Mexico, sparking an online petition, and a statewide controversy.

Two days before the contest, New Mexico State Land Commissioner and veterinarian Ray Powell banned the participants of the contest from New Mexico State Trust Land. Powell writes, “The participants in this commercial and unregulated exploitation of wildlife do not have a permit or lease to be on State Trust Lands… When our native predators or wild domestic dogs kill our agricultural and companion animals, the specific offending animal needs to be removed in a prompt and humane way. The non-specific, indiscriminant killing methods, used in this commercial and unrestricted coyote killing contest are not about hunting or sound land management. These contests are about personal profit, animal cruelty, and the severe disruption of the delicate balance of this desert ecosystem.”

Despite Powell’s ban and petitions, 39 coyotes were killed and someone has a shiny new shotgun. Negative feelings toward the contest were not held by all, however, and many feel that concerns about the coyote are “misplaced.” Caren Cowan, advocate for the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association writes, “Predator control is a given for New Mexico ranchers—a necessary part of the job to protect the animals in their care—and the recent controversy is a frustrating reminder of how little some urban residents understand about wildlife and the livestock industry.”

Rex Wilson, New Mexico Cattle Growers Association President, says, “The people protesting this contest have obviously never seen a calf chewed up by a coyote, or watched a mama sheep try to revive a dead lamb. These people, who have probably never even seen a coyote and certainly have no stake in the issue, are out there demonizing a small business owner and his customers. It’s not a massacre, or animal cruelty, it’s a contest. If they don’t support it, they shouldn’t participate.”

Though this contest is over, varying strong opinions on how to treat New Mexico’s predators—whether to protect them in the name of a delicate natural balance or to hunt them down and ideally cloak the homeless with fur—will indefinitely spark controversy amongst animal rights advocates, ranchers, and hunters. Personally, I think there will be a terribly sad silence on the night that no eerie music of yips and howls leaks from the open space of Placitas.

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