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: Small, fluffy. Lost at Warrior Fuel in Bernalillo the first week of June. He is about twenty pounds. Has long red/white hair but a brown and white speckled face. He has big ears. He answers to “Texas.” He decided to jump out of the truck at the gas station and was noticed missing about 15 miles down the road. By the time the owners returned, someone had taken him. This dog was a former rescue dog who has become a part of the family. He is their five-month-old son’s best friend and their seven-year-old’s cuddle buddy. He was a previously rescued in Texas, when he was found terrified, hungry, dirty and flea-infested. He is very well-loved and missed! The owners are offering a reward. #3881

CAT: Dark colored Calico cat lost from Ranchos de Placitas. “Sage” was lost in early June. #3883 (See photo above). 

DOG: White and brown Corgi/red Heeler mix lost from the Village of Placitas June 20. #3884

DOG: Chihuahua Pomeranian cross, lost from the Village of Placitas June 18 from near the Post Office. Very small, neutered male who was wearing a black harness. #3885 


DOG: Pit Bull Puppy, reddish brown (with a little white on chest and paws), female, found near the Village of Placitas on June 23rd. #3886 (See photo above).


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


Lalo—Here is a Western Tanager eating marmalade out of our orange cup! Enjoy!
—Michael and Jeremie Sare, La Mesa, Placitas

(Above) “Batman” sports a scarf
—Hannah Wilcox, Bernalillo, Placitas & L.A.




(Left) “Zorra”—still pretty in pink,
—Rebecca G. "Gert" Perry-Piper


Bear enters house, attacks elderly woman

Clint Henson

On June 4, a large black bear broke into a home north of Cimarron and attacked an elderly, bedridden woman. The alleged attacking bear was caught and killed by Game and Fish officers on June 5. The woman received minor injuries.

The 82-year-old woman, who asked to not be identified, was in bed with the doors and windows open when a bear broke the latch on a screen door and entered her room. The housekeeper went in about 10:00 p.m. to close the doors and turn off her light and found her with scratches on her nose and head. The housekeeper applied first aid but didn’t find it necessary to call for further medical assistance. Game and Fish officers were called the next morning when it was apparent that a bear had broken the screen door.

Conservation Officer Kyle Jackson contacted Hap Blacksten, a local houndman, who was able to find the bear with dogs. The bear was killed and taken to the Veterinarian Diagnostic Center in Albuquerque, where it will be tested for rabies.

“This was a large male bear, probably weighing over four hundred pounds,” Officer Jackson said. “Comparing it to the marks on the door, we believe this is the bear that broke in, but there was no apparent reason for the bear to enter the house.”

Normally, food smells entice bears into camps or homes, but there was no food in the bedroom. The housekeeper said she didn’t hear a sound and there also was a dog in the house that didn’t alert to the bear.

Anyone who lives in bear country should make sure that their doors and windows are locked. Windows and doors left open for ventilation are easy entryways to bears and other wildlife looking for food.

For information about bears and other New Mexico wildlife, contact the Game and Fish at (888) 248-6866, or find us online at

Fatal motor vehicle collision with horse on NM 528

—Peter L. Wells

Robbi Gaskins, age 47, has died from injuries sustained from colliding with a horse near the intersection of Honduras Road and N.M. 528/Pat DArco Highway on June 15, at approximately 11:30 p.m. The driver of the vehicle, Gaskin’s husband Rodney, sustained only minor injuries.

The vehicle was traveling southbound at approximately 55 mph when, according to witnesses, a horse ran out onto the highway and struck only the passenger side of the vehicle. The horse was killed instantly.

Another horse was discovered roaming near the scene of the crash. Local citizens voluntarily agreed to care for this horse until its owner could be located.

At this time, the Rio Rancho Police Department has identified the owner of the horses and is investigating how they got free.

Dead horse contaminates springs

Signpost Staff

On June 4, Placitans who still get drinking water from Rosa Castilla Springs were greeted by a sign reading: “Do not drink or use the water from this spring for two weeks. Boil if used. 867-0004.”

They were also greeted by the stench of a nearby decomposing horse. The phone number on the sign belongs to Placitas Animal Rescue. Lynn Montgomery, mayordomo of Acequias de Rosa Castilla, said, “I did everything I could to have that dead horse removed from the Spring. I got Brian the animal control guy over there and by then it was obvious that the horse was too decomposed to move. The Livestock Board guy said it wasn't a good idea to put lime on it as it was next to the water.”

Neighbors who viewed the dead horse upon first discovery were unsettled as it appeared that its head was missing. After two weeks, there was not much left but hide and bones.

State agencies and nonprofit join forces to provide water to New Mexico wildlife during drought

Two state agencies and a nonprofit organization are teaming up to help provide water to New Mexico’s wildlife populations during the drought.

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) has made a one-time provision of $40,000 dollars to New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) to help the state’s ranchers defray the extra cost of hauling or pumping water during the drought.

“Anytime a rancher provides water for his cattle, there will be wildlife that benefit from that water, also,” said NMDGF Director Jim Lane. “We recognize the contributions landowners make that go a long way toward keeping our wildlife healthy, especially during the drought, and this money is to say thank you for that.”

NMDGF is primarily funded by the sale of licenses to hunt, fish, and trap game species in the state—not by general taxpayer dollars.

The money will pass through NMDA to the New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts (NMACD), a nonprofit organization that represents the shared interests of the state’s 47 soil and water conservation districts (SWCD). SWCDs work with landowners to benefit the soil, water, air, plants, and animals in a way that results in productive lands and healthy ecosystems.

On a first-come, first-served basis, individual ranchers will be eligible for up to $350 dollars to pay for such things as fuel for hauling water or for pumping groundwater. Neither NMDGF, NMDA, NMACD, nor any of the SWCDs will withhold a percentage for the administration of the funds.

“This money will go straight to the ranchers in the state who are working hard to protect not only their cattle during the drought, but also the state’s wildlife population—a large percentage of which can be found on land where cattle are grazed,” said NMDA Director/Secretary Jeff Witte.

Part of the mission of NMDGF is to “conserve, regulate, propagate, and protect the wildlife and fish within the state of New Mexico.”  NMDA’s mission is to protect and serve New Mexico, including its citizens who are involved in agriculture.

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