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: Male Boxer. Seems to have gotten loose from leash. Seen near intersection of Camino de Las Huertas and Questa del Aire in Placitas on October 26. #4118

Dog: Deceased black-and-white, medium-sized dog, more white than black. Nestled under a Juniper bush off Forest Road 445 in Placitas. Seen November 8. #4119


Cat: Male, black and white, very young with claws, not neutered, personable and hungry. Found October 27 in a tree near the parking area for Loop Road in Placitas. #4020

Dog: Blonde female Schnauzer mix, approximately twenty pounds. She was wearing a green/pink collar with no tags. Found November 13 near Forest Lane in Placitas. #4021


Keena May is a 13-month old, 55 pound, fun-loving Catahoula/Shepard mix. She loves people and has good manners with adults and children. Keena can run marathons, but is also happy laying by the fire in the evenings. She is housebroken, loves to play on land and in water, but can be left alone as well (no separation anxiety). She has good car manners and can be walked calmly on a leash. Keena gets along with most other dogs, but has had fights with some, so it’s best that she be an “only dog.” Keena would make a great working dog, but could also be with the right family who could give her the exercise she needs. #4022


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

A young bobcat went nose-to-nose with a stray domestic cat in our yard in Placitas West this past October.
—Bunny Bowen

Hi, Lalo, This is the view from a bedroom window at our house in Placitas.
—Dan Maldonado

Lalo, We had a visitor on a portion of our roof in La Mesa, Placitas, last month. He must have been separated from his family. He was just beautiful.
—Lisa Roeber

Placitas WILD volunteer Karen Tyler presents Jeremy Miller, the general manager of the Enchanted Hills’ Albertson’s—a community partner of Placitas WILD—a recognition plaque for Albertson’s contributions to the San Felipe Wild Horse Preserve.

Placitas WILD prepares for its holiday fundraiser at the Algodones Gallery on December 10-11, from noon to 5:00 p.m. See details at

Wild Horse lawsuit seeks third bite by appeal

—Bill Diven

The lawsuit filed by Placitas horse advocates and dismissed twice by an Albuquerque judge has saddled up for another trip to the New Mexico Court of Appeals.

In a late-November court filing, the attorney for the Wild Horse Observers Association (WHOA) suggests even private land in Placitas is potentially public land for preserving stray horses with colonial Spanish bloodlines. The appeal also continues an attempt to broaden the Placitas lawsuit filed in 2014 to cover the entire state.

A section of the state Livestock Code requires the New Mexico Livestock Board to test any wild horse captured on public land to have its DNA tested to determine whether its heritage traces to Spanish stock. If so, it’s entitled to protections not afforded stray livestock—which the state can auction if an owner can’t be found. The only exemption in the law is for horses found on land controlled by the federal Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, or the State Land Office.

“That being the definition of the statute, it stands to reason that all other land is ‘public land’ as far as the DNA testing is concerned,” attorney Steven Sanders wrote in his November 22 statement supporting the appeal.

The question of public land wasn’t part of the original lawsuit, and District Court Judge Angela Huling declined to allow a new line of inquiry when she dismissed the case for the second time in September. She initially dismissed the suit in 2014, but the appellate judges sent it back to her along with their interpretation of the Livestock Code.

Huling then ruled the Livestock Board was complying with the new interpretation leaving no remaining issues to be settled. She also told Sanders he could raise new issues in Lincoln County where WHOA had filed a similar suit in August that is still pending.

“Travelin’ Jack” was just one of 500 guests at the 14th Annual Fur Ball sponsored by Watermelon Mountain Ranch. He was dressed to impress!

Guests at the Fur Ball—Senator Craig Brandt continues to help the homeless animals of Sandoval County.

ABQ BioPark releasing 54,000 Rio Grande Silvery Minnows this year

—Kathy Lang

The ABQ BioPark's Aquatic Conservation Facility expects to release 54,000 endangered Rio Grande silvery minnows into the Rio Grande this year. The fish are being released at sites within their current range (Middle Rio Grande) where there are low concentrations of silvery minnows in the river.

"The good news is that there are many areas of the Middle Rio Grande that do not need supplementation this year," said Kathy Lang, curator of the ABQ BioPark's Aquatic Conservation Facility. "The water management strategy used in that section of the river during this year's spawning season seems to have been successful."

Staff released ten thousand fish on October 25 at the Pueblo of Santa Ana. The next release of 31,000 minnows was scheduled for November 14 near Bosque del Apache, and another release of 13,000 minnows will occur late in November.

The Aquatic Conservation Facility is one of three in New Mexico that is cooperating to raise the endangered fish. The silvery minnow, a two-to-four-inch-long fish, was once one of the most common species in the Rio Grande, but by 1994 its population had declined so greatly that it was added to the federal Endangered Species List.

Since it opened in 2003, the Aquatic Conservation Facility has released more than seven hundred thousand minnows (including this year's release). The growing operation is staffed by three full-time employees and three seasonal workers and receives supplemental funding from grants.

The BioPark has been part of the species recovery program since 2000. Each spring, staff members collect eggs from the Rio Grande to hatch in tanks at the BioPark and breed additional minnows from previously collected broodstock. Minnows are tagged each fall before their release so the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) can monitor the program's success. Tagging also allows FWS to monitor some aspects of the minnow's behavior and how long the fish are surviving in different parts of the river.

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