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).

Summer is upon us, which means cookouts, pop-up thunderstorms, and fireworks. Everyone loves to enjoy this time of year, but please be aware of the stress and anxiety that can befall your four-legged friends. The noise can cause them to jump fences, burst through windows, and run at the first opening they get. Be sure that your pet has current tags with owner name, phone number, and another number for a local contact. If your animal is an indoor animal only, it is a great idea to put “If I am outside, I am lost; please help me home!” or if they have a medical condition, “I need meds everyday; if I am outside, please call my family!”



“Bailey.” If you see me, call the Hotline!

Dog: Male, liver-spotted, brown-and-white Dalmatian. “Bailey” is chipped and has no collar. He smiles (shows teeth), which makes some people think he is barring the teeth. “Bailey” is friendly and went missing May 3 off Juniper and Cinega Canyon in Placitas. (See photo above) #4092

Dog: Male, white Shih Tzu-a-Poo. “Marley” has no collar, and his hair is matted. He went missing May 16 off Highway 165 just west of the Las Placitas Presbyterian Church in the Village of Placitas. #4093


Two cats: Black and white sibling Kittens, one is long hair, and the other short haired. Approximately seven to eight months old. Found off Plaza de Sonadores in Placitas. #4094

Is this your cat?

Cat: Female, very friendly cat. Does not appear to be feral. Found May 6 in Homesteads Subdivision in Placitas. Is this your cat? (See photo right) #4095


Dog: Young, male German Shepherd with thick blue collar. He was seen twice on April 29 off Orsted Road and the road directly behind the Sandoval County Judicial Complex. #4096

Dog: Large, solid Black Lab or Lab-mix without a collar. He appeared to be limping, not sure if it is due to injury or old age. Seen May 2 on Paseo de San Antonio in the Village of Placitas. #4097

Dog: Female, brown and white Pit Bill or Pit Bull Mix. She appears to have had a litter of puppies recently, due to prominent nipples. Seen May 12 off Paseo de San Antonio in the Village of Placitas. #4098

Cat: Black-and-white cat. Cat was seen May 13 near 5 Plaza de Sonadores in Placitas. #4099

Two dogs: Large, black Lab with pink or red collar that appeared to be a male and Red Heeler with ears and tail that stand up, wearing a red collar. Seen off Cedar Creek Road near the mailboxes on May 20. #4100

Two dogs: Large Collie and a big, white fluffy dog (potentially Akita) in the Tres Vidas area that appeared to be playing with five to six Coyotes on a hilltop. #4101


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


Hi Lalo, Here are two critters that recently “visited” us in Placitas. The giant black one [a Vinegarroon or Whip Scorpion because of its tail] was really scary and grabbed a beetle—that's why its claws are closed!  —Janet Angel

Maddie and Brody hiking in the Sandias.  —Jeff D. Reynolds

Heinrich, Hoeven: National Bison Legacy Act signed into law

—Whitney Potter

On May 9, U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) announced that the president has signed into law legislation they introduced, designating the bison as the U.S. national mammal. The bipartisan bill, the National Bison Legacy Act, also recognizes the historical, economic, and cultural significance of the bison, as well as its importance to many Native American tribes as a sacred and spiritual symbol of their heritage.

“Recognition of our new national mammal will bring a new source of pride for Americans—just like the bald eagle—and also bring greater attention to ongoing species recovery efforts,” said Sen. Heinrich. “Bison are a uniquely American animal and are the embodiment of American strength and resilience. The bison has been an important part of our culture for many generations, especially in New Mexico, across the West, and in Indian Country. I hope that in my lifetime, thanks to a broad coalition of ranchers, wildlife advocates, and tribal nations, we will see bison return to the prominent place they once occupied in our nation’s shortgrass prairies.”

“The bison is now officially the U.S. National Mammal and rightfully so,” said Sen. Hoeven. “Bison are strong, proud and free, and a truly American icon with an incredible story. These noble creatures were brought back from the brink of extinction in our nation’s first great conservation effort. They are also an important spiritual symbol for many Native Americans. So, for all Americans, the bison is the right choice to be our national mammal. We look forward to honoring our new national mammal—hopefully with a live bison—at an induction ceremony in our nation’s capital.”

Senators Heinrich and Hoeven introduced the Senate bill, and it was unanimously approved by the Senate last December. The House of Representatives passed its version of the bill in late April, and the Senate concurred with the House bill, then sent it to the president for signature. The senators thanked the Vote Bison Coalition, which is led by the Inter-Tribal Buffalo Council, National Bison Association, and Wildlife Conservation Society, for supporting the legislation. The coalition counts more than fifty businesses, tribal groups, and organizations who have banded together to support efforts to celebrate bison.

More than forty million bison once roamed across most of North America. But by the late 1800s, fewer than one thousand bison remained. The species is acknowledged as the first American conservation success story, having been brought back from the brink of extinction by a concerted effort of ranchers, conservationists, and politicians to save the species in the early twentieth century.

In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt and the American Bison Society led an effort to save the bison from extinction by establishing a captive breeding program at the Bronx Zoo. Within a few years, the program and others like it, were successfully establishing bison back into their native habitat. Bison now live in all fifty states in public and private herds, providing recreation opportunities for wildlife viewers in zoos, refuges, and parks, and sustaining the multimillion-dollar bison ranching and production business.

Be bear aware when outdoors in New Mexico

—Karl Moffatt

Spring is still in the air, and as people and wildlife become more active outdoors, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is encouraging everyone to be aware of the potential of encountering bears and other native wildlife.

Young bears are emerging from hibernation and will be foraging and seeking territory to call their own, said Rick Winslow, the department’s bear and cougar biologist. Sows with cubs will follow later in May. Those living in urban-wildland interface areas such as the foothills around Santa Fe or Albuquerque may have a greater chance of encountering bears, Winslow said.

If a bear exhibits aggressive or strange behavior, people are encouraged to call the department and report it. Bears that appear to be moving through the country should be left alone—no need to report them.

If you visit or live in bear country:

  • Keep garbage in airtight containers inside your garage or storage area. Place garbage outside in the morning just before pickup, not the night before. Occasionally clean cans with ammonia or bleach.
  • Remove bird feeders. Bears see them as sweet treats, and often they will look for other food sources nearby.
  • Never put meat or sweet-smelling food scraps such as melon in your compost pile.
  • Don’t leave pet food or food dishes outdoors at night.
  • Clean and store outdoor grills after use. Bears can smell sweet barbecue sauce and grease for miles.
  • Keep your camp clean, and store food and garbage properly at all times. Use bear-proof containers when available. If not, suspend food, toiletries, coolers, and garbage from a tree at least ten feet off the ground and four feet out from the tree trunk.
  • Keep your tent and sleeping bag free of all food smells. Store the clothes you wore while cooking or eating with your food.
  • Sleep a good distance from your cooking area or food storage site.
  • Never intentionally feed bears to attract them for viewing.

If you encounter a bear:

• Stop, and back away slowly while facing the bear. Avoid direct eye contact, as the bear may consider that a threat. Do not run. Make yourself appear large by holding out your jacket. If you have small children, pick them up so they don’t run.

• Give the bear plenty of room to escape, so it doesn’t feel threatened or trapped. If a black bear attacks you, fight back using anything at your disposal, such as rocks, sticks, binoculars, or even your bare hands. Aim for the bear’s nose and eyes.

• If the bear has not seen you, stay calm and slowly move away, making noise so the bear knows you are there. Never get between a mother bear and her cubs.

For more information about living with bears in New Mexico, visit and consult the publication Living with Large Predators.

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