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: Basenji, about 15-year-old dog lost from near the Village of Placitas on November 4. Elderly female dog named "Holly" is about 14 pounds and was lost off Camino de las Huertas, just north of Highway 165. Chestnut, white with curly tail. #3939

CAT: Yellow cat with blue eyes lost from Placitas Homesteads on November 19. "Sam" is a male cat who has always been indoors. He is 4-5 years old. #3945


DOG: Brown, Border Collie-mix found in Bernalillo on November 2. Female. #3937

DOG: St Bernard with red collar. Young male found in Bernalillo on November 4. #3938

DOG: Plott Hound, starving, neutered male, older dog found in Ranchos de Placitas on November 8. Similar to a hound, very sweet, black with brindle legs & long ears. #3940


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

"Sandy Ophelia" with her playmate "Simba."
Owner: Nancy Stevens. Photo by Anne Nowak, Placitas.

Happy Halloween, “Luna!” —Yvonne Marrero and Davito Hammack

Coyote kills schnauzer

—Ty Belknap

Peter Deretic wants to honor the memory of his dog by reminding people to protect their pets and small children from coyotes. Last month, a coyote residing in La Mesa subdivision found a way to open the gate to Deretic’s walled-in backyard and made off with his miniature schnauzer—“Remus.” He is now left with only “Romulus.” Namesakes Romulus and Remus were the twin brothers and central characters of Rome’s foundation myth. Unlike in the myth, there is little doubt about how Remus met his demise, based on footprints and the distinctively coyote-like evidence left with the remains. Peter did not want to go into detail.

He said that Remus was a great dog, very sweet and brave, and is greatly missed by Romulus and the rest of the family. Peter says that he enjoys being near wildlife, and does not intend to seek revenge, other than to try to remove pets from the coyote diet. He said, “I have heard that their food is in short supply because of the drought and loss of habitat. Maybe I was careless, knowing that coyotes were in the neighborhood. They are very patient and will wait for an opportunity to strike.”

Not coyotes—it’s raccoons, some say

—Jeff Radford, Corrales Comment

What, if anything, needs to be done to change how Corrales reacts to coyote predation? It’s a question that’s been asked for at least a decade. More questions and answers came again at the October 22 Village Council meeting.

Twenty-five-year Corrales resident Ken Genco maintained the coyote population isn’t out of control, at least not for long, and that if coyotes were eliminated here, villagers would be over-run with rodents. He urged councilors to use science, not emotion and anecdotal evidence, to set Village policy regarding coyotes.

Al Knight, a persistent advocate for more, or “better,” coyote control, said the public debate needs to disregard calls for eliminating all coyotes and to disregard calls that coyotes not be controlled at all. Corrales’ coyotes are not your normal critters, he said, “They are urbanized, habituated, they are not afraid of humans, they are not afraid of dogs, they are very adaptable, they can jump fences, and dig underneath chicken coops.

“These problem coyotes are almost destroying the lifestyle of Corrales,” Knight argued.

Roger Finzel told councilors coyotes are an important part of the Corrales ecology, controlling rodents, skunks, squirrels, and other nuisance critters.

He recalled that a few years ago, a villager reported that his goats were killed by coyotes. “But the fact was, the goats were killed by his own dogs, because my neighbors dragged the dogs off one of the goats. Coyotes seem to get blames for everything.”

Finzel said that, in his neighborhood, raccoons are taking chickens, not coyotes.

Joe Bob Nuñez explained, “I have nothing against coyotes, except when they have my dog or my chicken in their mouth. Then we have a problem. I wish we could co-exist with coyotes, but I’m sorry, we can’t.”

Sherry White said she has five coyotes on her property on any given day, which use her neighbor’s fields “for rest and relaxation. They cannot be hazed, okay? I’m really good at hazing.” White said that if rocks are thrown at them, they run forward “to see what kind of meat somebody threw to them.”

The problem is not necessarily the coyotes, she contended. Marilyn Schaedla suggested that coyote dens that house problem critters should have occupants removed and destroyed. Her son, wildlife biologist William Schaedla, said he has seen an increase in coyotes here over recent years. “I suspect that is as much due to compression from surrounding communities as anything else.”

He predicted that diseases will begin to limit coyote populations here, not just food scarcity.

Susan Weiss said implementation of the 2001 Corrales Integrated Coyote Management Plan has evolved over the years, with less emphasis on killing and more on harassment. “The spirit and letter of the management plan have come to fruition,” she stated. “The Animal Control officers and the Village can take much pride in this accomplishment. What would be worthy of even more Corrales pride would be the participation of more residents… to humanely manage the behavior of the few coyotes that occasionally prey on domestic animals.”

Alana McGrattan said that she has preserved almost seven acres of her family farm through a conservation easement and continues to raise farm animals. She pointed out that, over the years, “the predators that have taken her farm animals, in every single case, have been raccoons.

“We have a very, very serious raccoon problem in that village,” McGrattan stressed. “I am convinced, from the stories I am hearing about predation on their chickens or fowl or whatever, that it is not coyotes, it’s raccoons.”

She said she has examined coyote scat left on her ranch and discovered that they primarily eat grasshoppers and berries. She said that she has never lost a newborn calf to a coyote.

This article was reprinted in part from the November 9, 2013, Corrales Comment.

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