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).



CAT: Large, yellow, male tabby cat lost from behind the Range Café in Bernalillo (near the park) on January 5. "Symba" has green eyes. #3845. [above]


CAT: Black Cat (mostly) with grey stripes and white paws (and a little white on his chest) lost from Ranchos de Placitas, just north of Highway 165, in mid-January.  "Charlie" is a domestic short-haired cat who is three years old and is very new to Placitas. #3847. [abpve]

DOG: Miniature, long-haired, Dachshund, white and brown, lost from Placitas Homesteads (not far from the Merc) on January 18. Her name is "Umlaut", but she responds to "Oomie". She is micro-chipped and has a tag with her owners' phone number on her collar.  She is four years old. #3850.


DOG: Pit Bull, young, male, found on December 29 in the Village of Placitas near the Presbyterian Church. #3844.

DOG: Hound Puppy, male, found in western Placitas area (La Mesa) off Camino Barranca on January 16. He is brown/brindle and looks to be about five months old. #3848


DOG: Large, light brown, long-haired stray dog was seen off Camino de las Huertas (about a mile north of the Village of Placitas) on January 11. #3846.

CAT: Brownish, short-haired cat seen in Placitas Trails (off Tierra Madre Road and Sage Hill Drive) on January 20. #3851.


Animal News

Lalo’s pet prints:

Lalo's Pet Prints


Wassup, Lalo? —”Waylon” Robertson


“Zorra del Ponderosa G.G.”’s alter ego —Rebecca G. “Gert” Perry-Piper

photo credit: Barb Belknap

Give the dog a bone

—Barb Belknap, Signpost

Our retriever “Lalo” brought home a bone the other day. He found it in the arroyo on the edge of the Placitas Open Space. It was in good shape, very polished and white, with an odd split at one end, and, when I held it against my upper arm, seemed a perfect fit. My mind wandered. Greg took a look at it and confirmed the notion, “A human humerus bone,” he said. It could be. Heck, our neighbor discovered a Folsom Point in his backyard. This could really be something important. Missing person? Missing link?

Our friend Bill had several times over the years shown us the ancient pit-house ruins that line Las Huertas Creek Arroyo near our house—round overturned rocks in abode-sized piles with pottery shards strewn about. And when walking out in the open space near our house, there are what seem to be rock-lined grave sites—stones set on the ground in rectangle formations, some man-sized, some child-sized, some pet-sized. It’s downright creepy. Or, I mean, fascinating. There is so much history that surrounds us here.

Not far to the east lies the site of San José de Las Huertas, sometimes known as the original village of Placitas. It is an ancient Spanish site that was settled around 1764—distinctive because it represents the remains of an entire community. A trained eye can see an irrigation pond, an acequia system, a village center, stable area, and dwelling-wall outlines. In 2002, Nan Rothschild and Heather Atherton of the Department of Anthropology at Barnard College in New York performed an excavation and investigation there to uncover some major artifacts. Maybe some bones.

I put the bone in a safe spot behind the recycling bucket on the back porch and emailed a note and pictures of it to Sandoval County Undersheriff Karl Weise. We have known Karl for years as a member of the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Department and sometimes contributor of public safety stories to the Signpost. Still, considering the nature of my request, I figured it might be a few weeks before I received a reply.

Within minutes, Karl wrote back, “I appreciate you sending the photos. It is beyond my expertise, but will have someone look at the photos soon and make a determination. In the interim, please hang onto the bone. I will get back to you soon.”

I couldn’t have been more impressed—our Sandoval County police force in action. Later that afternoon, Karl emailed again to say that he had forwarded the photos to the Office of the Medical Examiner for an opinion. He joked, “If Lalo brings home a $100 bill, just send it to me directly, and I will verify its authenticity.”

A couple days of eager anticipatory waiting passed when the phone rang with a call from the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Department—a deputy. Ty yelled to me, “Hey, they said the bone is an Archeo-dactyl.”

“Wow, really!” I blurted. “A dinosaur? A what? A pterodactyl? That’s amazing! How cool!”

Without a moment’s delay, I ran to the computer and googled A-r-c-h-e-o-d-a-c-t-y-l. Hmmm. It said, “No match” and “Did I mean Artiodactyla?”

“Tyy! Was it Artio-dactyl . . . ?”


Type, type, type. Answer: Even-toed ungulate. What?

“Tyyy! What else did the guy say?”

“He said it was a . . . llama.”

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