The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988


Dave Harper (right) and friendAnimal Hotline is a nonprofit service to help reunite lost and found pets with their people.
P. O. Box 100, Placitas, NM 87043

If you find or lose an animal in Placitas or the surrounding area, call Dave Harper at the Animal Hotline. Placing a lost or found notice in the Hotline is a free service.



Siamese-mix cat found on Camino de las Huertas. #3118


DOG: Chihuahua. Little, tan, female, 2 year old Chihuahua lost from near the end of Camino de la Rosa Castilla (Far north of the Village of Placitas) on December 1st. Only 2 lbs. She is very friendly. #3122

CAT: Chocklate colored, 10 year old male cat (Burmese looking) lost from the Village of Placitas in mid-October. #3126

DOG: Black Lab, female, lost from Camino del Tecolote (just northeast of the Village of Placitas) on December 11th. Spayed, 7-8 years old, kinda pudgy. #3127

CAT: Black & white (tuxedo) Cat lost from Quail Meadow Rd, off Tunnel Springs Rd (west of the Village of Placitas) on December 16th. 8-9 year old male cat with green eyes. #3128


CAT: Siamese mix. Male cat found on Camino de las Huertas (about 1.5 miles north of the Village of Placitas on November 28th. About 2 years old, very skinny and very friendly. Not neutered. #3118 (See photo above.)

CAT: Grey, adult cat found on Arroyo Venada in Ranchos de Placitas on December 4th. #3123

CAT: Grey cat with calico marking found on Perdiz Canyon Rd (Fire Station Rd) south of the Village of Placitas in mid December. Adult cat, probably female. #3130

Thanks from the Animal Hotline to Holly and Patti for getting dogs back to their homes!


Animal News


Authorities raid cockfight, make arrests under new law

Otero County Sheriff’s Department and the Attorney General’s Animal Cruelty Task Force, with assistance from Animal Protection of New Mexico and The Humane Society of the United States, raided the Otero Game Club’s “Christmas Derby” cockfighting event today.

Several people attending the cockfighting event fled just before law enforcement agents arrived at the scene. Law enforcement agencies arrested four individuals. It is estimated that more than one hundred birds were relinquished from two properties total.

On Wednesday, the New Mexico Fifth Judicial District Court upheld a ban on cockfighting in the state, after the New Mexico Gamefowl Breeders Association had questioned the constitutionality of the ban. According to New Mexico law, the first and second cockfighting convictions are misdemeanors, and the third conviction is a felony.

“Cockfighting is an utterly cruel activity and it has no place in New Mexico or anywhere else,” said John Goodwin, manager of The HSUS’ animal cruelty and fighting campaign, who was on-scene Saturday.

Multiple law enforcement and animal control agencies, including those from Doña Ana County and the City of Albuquerque, participated.

Cockfighting Facts:

• Tens of thousands of people are involved in cockfighting nationwide.

• Law enforcement raids across the country have revealed that cockfights, which are frequently attended by children, often involve gambling and, as a result of the large amounts of cash present, firearms and other weapons.

• Law enforcement officials have documented a strong connection between cockfighting and the distribution of illegal drugs.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization—backed by ten million Americans, or one of every thirty. For more than a half-century, the HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty— on the Web at


Bolson Turtle hatchling

Bolson Tortoise hatchling

Excellent breeding success for endangered Bolson Tortoises

Less than a year after four endangered Bolson tortoises were brought to Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park in Carlsbad, New Mexico, eighteen eggs have hatched. The hatchlings range in weight from 30 to 38 grams (less than a pound), and are the results of 19 eggs laid within two laying periods, three weeks apart. This group of hatchlings is beginning to feed on native grasses and carrots. Once established and fully adapted to solid food, the hatchlings will be available for public viewing.

“This is an exciting time at Living Desert; to have breeding success like this in our first season with these endangered tortoises is very rewarding for us and our partners at the Turner Endangered Species Fund,” said Park Superintendent Ken Britt. “We encourage people to come and see these special animals and learn about this important conservation effort.”

“We are excited to be collaborating with Living Desert, which has been a top-notch partner in this process,” said Joe Truett, Senior Biologist with Turner Endangered Species Fund who coordinated efforts with New Mexico State Parks. “Of course we are also thrilled about the new hatchlings at both Living Desert and the Ladder Ranch.”

Like Living Desert, the tortoises are also protected and housed in outdoor enclosures for protection at the Ladder Ranch, near Hillsboro and the Armendariz ranch near T or C. Truett says that, with the exception of the Armendariz ranch which is waiting for 15 eggs to incubate naturally outdoors, the tortoise hatchlings were incubated in a carefully controlled environment. The egg incubator mimics the conditions required for birds or reptiles to hatch their eggs, taking into consideration humidity, temperature and the number of times the eggs are turned over.

According to the Turner Fund, hatching the tortoises in an incubator has seemed to be more successful than hatching in the outdoors since the eggs are protected from elements including changing temperatures, depth changes, soil content and predators. The incubation period for most Bolson Tortoises is 75 to 85 days. Generally, female Bolson Tortoises can lay between two to 15 eggs at a time, with only an estimated 3 percent survival rate for the eggs.

The parents of the hatchlings—two male and two female Bolson tortoises—were originally introduced to Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park in October 2006 through a cooperative agreement and conservation program with media mogul Ted Turner’s “Turner Endangered Species Fund.” The Fund aims to conserve biodiversity by protecting endangered species and their habitat.

The growing family of tortoises is the only genetically pure Bolson’s on exhibit in an AZA Accredited Zoo in the country. The tortoise, native to the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico, is listed as an internationally endangered species and is the largest tortoise of North America. The species was first placed on the federal endangered species list in 1979 after it was discovered that they were being hunted for food in the Mexican area of Bolson de Mapimi.

An additional population of breeding pairs is located on Ted Turner’s Armendaris Ranch in Sierra County, New Mexico. The conservation effort includes breeding programs, natural history research at both locations as well as an education program centered at the zoo. Through this cooperative conservation effort it is hoped to educate zoo visitors about the species and eventually see the Bolson Tortoise population increase in the wild.

Living Desert plans to keep the tortoise hatchlings at the park for at least a year, and then release them to the Armendaris Ranch who will eventually relocate them back into the wild.

Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park actively participates in species conservation and is dedicated to the plants and animals of Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem. The Bolson Tortoise conservation partnership compliments the zoo's involvement in the Species Survival Plan for the Mexican Wolf, another federally endangered species.

For more information, contact Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park at (505) 887-5516 or For information on the Turner Endangered Species Fund, log onto





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