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).

Another horse killed

I don't believe that it made the news: another horse was hit on Highway 165 on May 26th. The person who hit it was a friend of mine who luckily, I believe, was not badly hurt. As he was only one-hundred yards from his home, I'm pretty sure he was going less than the speed limit. He said the horse ran out right in front of him and there was nothing he could do to avoid it. It is getting a bit dangerous for us to just go about our normal lives. It is long overdue that something needs to be done. It is a shame that horses are being killed on our roads, but I believe all bets will be off if one of our two-legged friends is killed in a car accident with one of the horses.


CAT: Black Cat, young, thin, un-neutered male cat who has been roaming around the east end of the Village of Placitas for a while in late April/early May. While only a little concerned about humans, he seems not to be feral. #3876.

DOG: Red Heeler, little female with reddish pink collar was found off Perdiz Canyon Rd (Fire Station Road) south of the Village of Placitas on May 7. #3877


DOG: Black & White Boxer/Pit Bull type dog roaming in the Village of Placitas on about May 19. Friendly dog with long tail. Seen near Highway 165, not far from the Presbyterian Church. #3879


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



“Skippy DeLara”— lounging around in the Village. A longtime Placitas resident, Skip loves his often walks around town. —Photo by Rosemary DeLara


“Chloe” . . . crumpled.


“Chloe” . . . uncrumpled.
—photos by Gary Priester

In May, on the Piedra Lisa Trail in the Sandia Mountains near Placitas, I came upon this Diamondback Rattlesnake that gave me fair warning as I took this photo.—Ty Belknap

Snake season is upon us

—New Mexico Poison Center

Spring and summer in New Mexico are snake seasons. Venomous snakes in New Mexico include the prairie, western diamondback, rock, Mojave, black tailed, ridge nose, and massassauga rattlesnakes and the coral snake. Snakes seek shelter from the sun under rocks, bushes, caves, and animal burrows. At night, when it’s cooler, snakes become active, hunting their prey. Practice the following prevention tips to avoid snakebite:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Walk in areas where the ground is clear so you can see where you step.
  • Be aware of where you sit, especially in shady areas.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as long pants and hiking boots.
  • Wear gloves when using your hands to move brush or rocks.
  • Do not reach into cracks in rocks, animal burrows, or under bushes.
  • Do not walk around at night or sleep on the ground; snakes are most active at night.
  • Do not tease, handle, or kill rattlesnakes. 
  • If you encounter a snake, do not panic or blindly run away without looking carefully where you are going.

The most important first-aid tip if bitten by a snake is to call the NM Poison Center or get to the nearest hospital right away. “Do not try any other first-aid methods, because they are often useless and may cause more harm,” says Steven Seifert, medical director of the New Mexico Poison Center. If you are bitten by a snake, follow these safety precautions:

  • Get to the nearest hospital right away.
  • Keep calm.
  • Put a safe distance between you and the snake.
  • Remove rings, watches, and bracelets.
  • Keep the bite area immobilized and level with the heart.
  • Carry a cell phone to call for help if needed.

Call the New Mexico Poison Center for poisoning emergencies, questions about poisons, or for information about poison prevention, 24 hours a day, toll free at 1-800-222-1222.

TrekWest helps wildlife

—Cirrelda Snider-Bryan, Pathways

To bring attention to wildlife-corridor conservation, outdoor adventurer John Davis is biking, hiking, and paddling the five-thousand-mile journey from Mexico to Canada, highlighting the need for wildlife habitat and corridor protection on a local and international scale—a journey dubbed “TrekWest.” Along the way, John is pointing out projects by organizations, private landowners and decision-makers that have helped to protect or restore vital habitats and corridors.

John Davis started his trek on January 29, 2013. Visit this website to see the map of his whole journey at:

The TrekWest itinerary will bring John Davis through northern New Mexico between June 18 and June 23. Pathways representatives are considering a day with John in the Valles Caldera area, possibly on June 22. During his visit, he will be able to report on his extensive social media network about landscape restoration, conservation, and connectivity issues for wildlife in the Jemez Mountains. Stay tuned. For more information, call 897-0285.

Pet project: keeping animals safe when disaster strikes

—Sharon Jonas

Ever since the devastating images of pets left behind during Hurricane Katrina, and after major evacuations of Los Alamos and Ruidoso in 2011 and 2012, more New Mexicans are thinking about how to deal with the evacuation needs of over seventy percent of New Mexican families who have companion animals. Leaving animals behind not only endangers the animals but creates potential risks and loss for people, as well.

For over a year, Animal Protection of New Mexico (APNM), a statewide animal advocacy organization, has been working at all levels to increase awareness and encourage more conversations about this important piece of emergency management. Working with state agencies, community groups, and local emergency managers, APNM is expanding their online Disaster Preparedness information and developing a statewide Emergency Animal Resources Guide for use by emergency response officials.

Today, a number of individual citizens, local organizations, and dedicated emergency managers are taking significant steps toward making a big difference for animals in community planning and preparedness efforts around the state.

Individuals can create their own plans by talking to neighbors about a buddy system if they’re not home during an evacuation, and conducting family fire drills with their animals. Write down everything you need to do to be ready if you have to evacuate. Create an evacuation plan and prepare emergency kits for both people and animals. Decide where you would go and where to take your animals, then make more detailed lists of what to put in your emergency kits, what supplies you need, which documents to gather, what to research online, and who to call.

Having proper identification with your animals, photos of you and your animals, and copies of vaccination records are also critical for emergency sheltering or if your animal is lost.

APNM’s Disaster Preparedness webpage ( has a wide range of advice and resources on disaster planning, updates on what’s happening around the state, and contacts for volunteers.

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