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.



CAT: Orange, Persian cat lost from Rainbow Valley (south of Ranchos de Placitas) on February 3. Male, about seven months old. #3141


DOG: Small, five-pound male poodle, brown, found on Highway 165 in Placitas, west of the Merc on February 5. Wearing a blue collar and sweater. #3139

TWO DOGS: Baby lab mix and pit bull mutt found in Placitas Homesteads on February 16. Really sweet dogs. #3142 & 3143

DOG: Terrier-mix, tan, found about three miles north of the Village of Placitas off Camino de las Huertas in mid-February. #3145

CAT: Calico cat, found about three miles north of the Village of Placitas off Camino de las Huertas on February 7. Long-haired cat with pretty green eyes. No collar or tags. #3146

CAT: Fat calico cat found in Bernalillo the beginning of February. #3149


DOG: Dalmatian-mix seen wandering around Tejon Cañon Road in Ranchos de Placitas the last week of January. Cute little dog. #3138

DOG: Red, Chow-mix has been hanging around various homes in the Tunnel Springs area of Placitas. Male, intact. #3140


DOG: SharPei-Pointer-cross, two-year-old female who was rescued from a bad situation and needs a home! Two years old, spayed, micro-chipped, has all shots, is housebroken and crate trained. (Not good with cats.) Would make a mellow, devoted companion. Call 299-3373.


I am told that if you have a pit bull that needs to be spayed or neutered, Santa Fe Animal Humane will do it for free (or a slight charge if she’s pregnant).


Animal News




Lalo’s pet prints

Now, your pet can be famous, too!

Mail or email your favorite pet photos, along with a caption and photo credit, for possible posting in the Signpost.

Mail to: Signpost, P. O. Box 889, Placitas, NM 87043. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope, if you would like them returned.

Or email digital or scanned prints to:

Be sure to take your digital photos at a setting high enough for print.

If scanning pre-printed photos, scan at 300 dpi.

Skeens cat

“It took a lot of work, ... but I think I've got my napping technique just right.”

”Billy,” 15-years old; napping weight: 15 lbs., by Roy Skeens


Pookie and The Red Boots, by Barbara Rudolf

Kennel Club to hold fund-raiser, dog show


Did you know that Sandoval County has its own kennel club? It is the Coronado Kennel Club of New Mexico (CKCNM). You may have heard of the Rio Grande Kennel Club (RGKC) of Albuquerque and the Sangre de Christo Kennel Club (SDCKC) of Santa Fe. You may even have gone to one of their shows at the New Mexico State Fairgrounds. Both of these clubs have been around for a long time—RGKC for seventy-five years and SDCKC for around thirty years.

However, CKCNM has only been around since late 2003. The club has about forty members, scattered east to west from Edgewood to Farmington and north to south from Española to Los Lunas. But most of the members live in Sandoval County. Some of the members also belong to one or both of the other clubs. These forty members have a wide variety of dogs, from very tiny to very large. The objective of the club is to promote quality in the breeding of purebred dogs and to conduct dog shows under the rules and regulations of the American Kennel Club (AKC).

The major impetus for forming the new club was to provide another opportunity for enthusiasts in central New Mexico to have a dog show where they could show their dogs. The AKC sets up a number of requirements on a new club before it can conduct a dog show. These include having a number of “matches,” which are practice shows. CKCNM has completed all of these requirements and has now been sanctioned by the AKC to hold our first show on September 13-14, 2008, at the Rio Rancho Sports Complex on High Resort Road in Rio Rancho.

Putting on a show like this requires a lot of money, and the club will be conducting several fundraisers before the September date. The first of these will be a flea market/rummage sale where all of the club members are donating items to sell. The sale will take place on March 29-30 at 724 Camino del Pueblo (main street in Bernalillo), in the parking lot of the small building just south of Allsup’s and diagonally across the street from the Sandoval County Court House. There will be books, cassette tapes, VCR tapes, CDs, DVDs, electrical appliances, electronics, clothing, and who knows what else may turn up. It’s all for a good cause, so we invite everyone to come out and buy to your heart’s content.

The club has monthly meetings on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Placitas Community Center, 41 Camino de Las Huertas. Anyone who loves dogs is welcome to attend. For more information about the club, call one of our club officers: Terry Smith, President, at 771-8459; Ruth Davis, Secretary, at 867-4510; or Martin Bradshaw, Treasurer, at 867-5942.

Get ready… they’re coming!


In the midst of all the winter weather we have had lately, it seems hard to believe that spring is just around the corner. Very soon, migrating species of birds will be returning to New Mexico to mate and raise their young. There are too many to mention here, but a couple to specifically look for are the broadtail hummingbird, due back the last week of March, and the black-chinned hummingbird, due in early April. (Tip: put feeders where you can see them!)

Did you know that there are only three species of birds that are not protected by the Migratory Bird Act of 1923, enforced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service? These three species are: the rock pigeon, the English (or house) sparrow, and the European starling. Every other species of bird that you see anywhere in the United States is federally protected.

What does this mean to you? Well, it means that if a bird builds a nest in the wreath on your door, or the receptacle where your newspaper gets delivered, or on the ledge under the viga over your front door, the law is that you must leave it alone. “Oh, but it makes such a mess,” you say. “There is poop everywhere, and I am tired of cleaning it up!”

First, consider how lucky you are to be able to see firsthand a mother bird raising her babies. What a fabulous educational opportunity! If that nest is located in the wreath on your door, and every time you enter or leave, the poor mother flies away (or, worse, into your house), there is a solution: Move the wreath a few feet away so that it is no longer on your door. The mother will be able to find her nest, and after a couple of days, you can move it another few feet away from your doorway. After several moves of a few feet, the mother bird and her nest will be far enough away that your comings and goings will no longer disturb her from the nest. Remember: the young of most passerines leave the nest about twenty-one days after hatching, so we are not talking about a long time here! In addition to the benefit of sharing your space with nature, think of the benefits this species may bring to you. Baby birds eat huge numbers of little insects and invertebrates; adults have beautiful songs.

Next problem: you walk out your front door (or trim the bushes around your house) and find a bare, naked baby bird, or a partially feathered nestling, lying on the ground in front of you. If you can find the nest, pick up the baby bird and put it back in the nest. But…“the mother will smell ‘human’ and reject the baby.” This is an urban legend—most birds don’t have much sense of smell.

If you can’t find the nest, and the mother bird is hovering and screaming in distress, put the baby bird in a plastic cup and nail it to a nearby tree – the mother will feed it every time the baby cries in hunger. If the mother isn’t hovering, take the baby bird to a trained wildlife rehabilitator like myself, or to our clinic at the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park in Albuquerque.

No, better not keep it and raise it yourself! In the first place, it is illegal if it is a protected species. In the second place, what do you feed it? The diet of a baby bird in the first three weeks of life is critical—it must have the proper balance of protein, calcium and phosphorus, vitamins and minerals—otherwise it will develop metabolic bone disease, which is a death sentence. Do you know the species? Species requirements vary. And in the last place, do you have a life? Baby birds need to be fed every thirty to forty-five minutes during daylight hours to develop strong bodies and feathers that will last until their first molt.

Ever been at home and heard that horrible thud that means a bird has struck your window? Go out and look—if the bird is lying on the ground, still alive, pick it up and put it in a small box (a shoebox or small cardboard box) and put it in a dark, warm spot. No, don’t punch holes in the box – the bird will get enough air. After a couple of hours, if the bird is active and moving around, go outside, open the box and let it go. If it isn’t active, but it is still alive, take it to a trained wildlife rehabilitator. Often, the force of impact causes bleeding in the bird’s brain, and recovery time can take more than forty-eight hours.

So, get ready! Our feathered friends will soon be back, delighting us all with their mating rituals and funny antics. We can learn a lot by observing.

If you have questions, Peggy can be contacted at

Friends of Monument host birding lecture

The Friends of Coronado State Monument will sponsor a presentation by Scott Smith, Coronado State Monument Manager, on March 9 at 2:00 p.m. on the topic of “The Birds of Coronado State Monument.” He will introduce the audience to the variety of bird species commonly seen at the Monument complex and will provide a bird list for reference in identifying these marvelous species. About one-fourth of all bird species found in North America have been seen at Coronado. Bald Eagles are regular visitors through the winter months; curved-bill thrashers nest on site during the summer.

Mr. Smith, a nineteen-year veteran of State Parks and State Monuments, will relate the birds at Coronado today with the beliefs and experience of those who have documented the presence of the same or similar species in the area some six hundred years ago. Images of eagles, ducks, geese, and band-tailed pigeons can all be found in the famous Kuaua Murals. The continued presence of these birds today helps create a sense of continuity between past and present. The widely-held belief that birds serve as messengers of the gods is reflected in the local practice of tying feathers to prayer sticks, dream-catchers, and caps.

Scott Smith has been Manager at Coronado State Monument for the last two years. He started “birding” in high school and has completed advanced course work in ornithology. A true lover of nature and especially birds, Mr. Smith has traveled from Alaska to Florida, from California to Massachusetts, almost always with a pair of 10x40s at the ready! His program promises to educate and fascinate.

The program will be held at the Sandoval County Historical Society’s DeLavy House on Edmond Road in Bernalillo. To get there, take Highway 550, slightly west of Coronado State Monument, turn north on the west edge of the Phillips 66 Gas Station and onto a dirt road (Edmond Road). Follow the road to its end; signs will be posted. This presentation is open to the public. Admission is $5 per person; the event is free to members of Friends of Coronado State Monument.





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