The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Dave Harper (right) and friendAnimal Hotline is a nonprofit community service for lost/found pets in Placitas and Bernalillo
P. O. B. 812, Placitas, NM 87043
To report a lost or found animal, Call Dave Harper at 867-6135 or e-mail

People with pets for adoption or sale should place a Signpost classified ad or consider a $5 donation to the Animal Hotline to run the information in this column. Lost and found listings and doptions for found animals are run in the column for free.

For lost/found pets in Placitas and Bernalillo, call Dave Harper at 867-6135


CAT: Six- month-old spayed female cat lost June 1 from Sundance Mesa (western Placitas). Mostly white with black, brown, and gold on her tail. Pink-and-black collar says Sally Rose.  #1801 (See photo)

CAT: Grey twenty-pound neutered male cat lost June 15 from Sandia Lane in Ranchos de Placitas, not far from Highway 165. Declawed. #1805

CAT: $300 REWARD!! Large grey male cat lost from Vista de Oro (Near the S-curves on Highway 165 in Placitas). Front paws declawed. Three and a half years old. Long tail. Please help Chaco get home. #1807 [See photo above]


CAT: Black-and-white long-haired male cat hit by car on Highway 165 in the Village of Placitas June 9. Died at the vet's office. #1802

DOG: Peek-a-poo, neutered male, found north of Placitas in the BLM land. Black-and-white, six to seven years old, ten pounds, very well mannered. #1808


Animal News

Van provides spay-neuter surgeries

Van provides spay-neuter surgeries

Mobile clinic provides spay/neuter

Placitas Animal Rescue, Animal Rights Mobilization, and Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) will be offering a spay and neuter program in July for $20. The minimum age for male dogs and cats is eight weeks; for female dogs and cats, twelve weeks. The SNAP mobile clinic will be at Bernalillo Town Hall on July 13 and 14, and at Homesteads Village in Placitas on July 15. Two free surgeries for pit bulls will be provided each day. By appointment only. Call 681-1682 or 867-0004.


County bans animal fighting

Bill Diven

Sandoval County Commission has joined other local governments in banning animal fighting in its jurisdiction.

The ordinance approved unanimously also bans possession of equipment associated with fighting birds and dogs.

However, the final bill dropped a special assessment for anyone convicted under the ordinance, according to county attorney David Mathews. The Association of Counties plans to press the Legislature for a law allowing counties to impose special assessments, as some cities now do in traffic cases, he said.

Commissioners Don Leonard and Jack Thomas pushed for the ordinance after a proposal to ban animal fighting died in the 2005 Legislature. Leonard said there were reports of dogfighting in the county, although cockfighting appears to be less of an issue.


Wild horses still in jeapordy

—The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

In what is turning out to be a fierce battle on Capitol Hill over the fate of our wild horses, a new bill was introduced today by Nevada legislators to breathe new life into the Burns Amendment’s sale program.  Read on for more details, but first, an update on the beleaguered sale program:

As announced a month ago, the Bureau of Land Management has resumed sales under the Burns Amendment, with restrictions on buyers to prevent the horses from ending up at the slaughterhouse. Our initial reaction was that the restrictions announced by BLM would do little to protect the horses. BLM’s own National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board recently validated our concerns: during their last board meeting, they found not only that the restrictions are unenforceable, but also that BLM had no legal authority to impose such restrictions in the first place. In a glaring example of BLM’s failure to properly screen potential buyers, it has now come to our attention that BLM recently sold a load of horses to an ex-con who has been under watch by BLM's special investigators due to past misdeeds… 

A bill introduced today by Representatives John Porter (R-NV) and Shelley Berkley (D-NV), with a companion bill to be introduced by Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and John Ensign (R-NV) in the Senate, would reduce minimum horse adoption fees by 80% to $25, eliminate the limit of four horses per adopter per year, and establish a one-year waiting period for buyers to receive titles to wild horses purchased through the Burns Amendment’s sales program. Without a limitation on how many horses can be titled to an adopter/purchaser each year, the one-year limitation becomes meaningless because large operations will now be able to obtain very cheap horses in unlimited numbers, keep them for a year in feedlot conditions and turn a handsome profit at the slaughterhouse after a year. The bill would also extend the Burns Amendment’s sale mandate to ALL “excess” wild horses, i.e. the 22,000 animals currently in government holding, giving the government a quick and dirty way to dispose of all rounded up horses.  This new provision, dressed up by the Nevada legislators as a nice solution to the Burns Amendment debacle, is yet another blow to the wild horse cause, with 22,000 horses now in jeopardy.

More than ever, we need to remain vigilant.  With the recent easing of public land grazing restrictions for private cattle, and a new bill that would allow the government to sell all rounded up horses, the fate of our remaining wild herds is more uncertain than ever.  We need to keep the pressure on our legislators so that the protective measures currently making their way through Congress can pass. For more information, visit for suggestions on how to take action.


Nominees sought for animal-benefactor awards

Animal Protection of New Mexico is seeking nominations for its 2005 Milagro Awards ceremony, to be held in Santa Fe on Saturday, October 15, at the Eldorado Hotel, 309 W. San Francisco Street, beginning at 6:00 p.m. (cocktail hour starts at 5:00 p.m.).

Animal Protection of New Mexico is a nonprofit organization with the mission to advocate the rights of animals by effecting systemic change, resulting in the humane treatment of all animals. Since 2000, APNM has been “catching people in the act: of doing good things for animals,” and recognizing them for their efforts at its annual Milagro Awards ceremony. APNM believes in publicly recognizing and thanking those who go out of their way to improve the lives of animals in New Mexico.

The Milagro Awards recognize individual and collaborative humanitarian acts on behalf of animals. New Mexico organizations, businesses, and individuals can be nominated in the following categories:

  • Advocacy Award: for advocacy efforts that promoted the compassionate treatment of animals and/or combated institutionalized animal cruelty.
  • Direct Animal Services Award: for efforts that directly improved the lives of animals.
  • Humane Education Award: for innovative classroom, public, private or civic education efforts that foster humane ethics in youth.
  • Media Award: for spotlighting animal issues with courage, creativity and integrity.
  • Youth Award: for youth activism, ethics, and bravery.
  • Spirit of the Mission Award: for actions that bring about precedent-setting change.
  • For animal nominees only: Animal Award: for exceptional animal courage and/or intelligence.

In addition, there will be an APNM Board of Directors' Award for lifelong commitment to animal rights, and the APNM executive director will bestow an Executive Director's Award for outstanding support of APNM's mission and program.

For nomination forms and further information, contact APNM at (505) 265-2322, in Albuquerque, or go to Nominations must be postmarked by August 1.

Mountain lion destroyed after it killed couple’s four pet goats

—New Mexico Department of Game and Fish

Conservation officers with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish killed a mature male mountain lion in the Sedillo Hill area east of Albuquerque on Wednesday morning after the lion visited a couple's home three nights in a row and killed their four pet goats.

Six hunting dogs tracked the lion for two hours, sometimes through yards and under porches and decks in the well-populated Dennis Chavez Estates subdivision about four miles east of Tijeras and north of Interstate 40. He was treed at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. The lion had killed one goat Sunday night, then returned Monday and killed the other three goats. Tuesday, Game and Fish officers used a dead goat as bait and tried to catch the lion in snares, but he returned, avoided the snares, and made off with the goat.

Northwest area game manager Ross Morgan said the department has killed four mountain lions in the East Mountains area in the past year and a half. All four cats were returning to residential areas, where they were preying on pets and could have become threats to humans. The lions had killed at least three dogs and a miniature horse.

Lion hunting is very limited if not impossible in the East Mountains because there are so many homes in the area. When lions come around looking for food, they find pets such as penned up goats to be easy prey. The serious concerns arise when the lions start associating humans with food sources, said Luke Shelby, department assistant director.

If you live in lion country:

  • Closely supervise children and make sure they are home before dusk and not outside before dawn.
  • Remove vegetation around the house so lions won't have places to hide.
  • Install outdoor lighting you can turn on when needed to see a lion if present.
  • Close off open spaces beneath porches or decks.
  • Do not feed wildlife, particularly deer, which are lions' favorite prey.
  • Keep pets and pet food secure, especially at night.

If you encounter a mountain lion:

  • Immediately pick up all children off the ground and tell them to keep calm.
  • Stand tall, open your coat, and raise your arms to make yourself appear as large as possible.
  • Back away slowly. Don't turn your back on the lion, and never run, as it may trigger the lion's instinct to chase.
  • Carry a walking stick and use it to protect yourself if necessary.
  • Fight back if a lion attacks you. Use any objects within reach as weapons.

If you have an encounter with a mountain lion, please contact the Department of Game and Fish, the New Mexico State Police, or your local sheriff's department.


Mexican wolf pack moved to remote area of Gila Wilderness

—New Mexico Department of Game and Fish

Two adult Mexican gray wolves, one yearling and three pups, were moved to a remote area of the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico [last month] to increase the number of breeding pairs of wolves in the wild and to add genetic diversity to the wild population, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and the Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team announced.

The Aspen Pack was moved from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, south of Albuquerque. The wolves and pups have been in captivity since earlier this year, when they were removed from the Mexican Wolf Recovery Area in Arizona. The release site in New Mexico is a very remote area with no nearby residences and no cattle. Wolf biologists say chances are very good that the pack will remain in the remote area while the pups are young.

Bringing another breeding pair into the wild will help make up for the loss of one breeding pair in New Mexico this year. The San Mateo Pack was removed from the San Mateo Mountains in April after they strayed outside the designated Wolf Recovery Area boundaries. The addition of the Aspen Pack will bring the number of breeding pairs to five or six, according to the Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team.

The Aspen Pack will be among about fifty Mexican gray wolves living in Arizona and New Mexico since the federal wolf reintroduction program began in 1998, according to the Interagency Field Team, which includes representatives of federal, state, and county agencies.

People interested in receiving the Mexican wolf project's monthly status report can get it at no cost by logging onto the Arizona Game and Fish Department Web site at and filling out the appropriate information.






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