The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


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.

Two friendly dogs found

Two friendly dogs found in La Mesa. [See listing #2096 & 2097]


Dog: Australian Shepherd puppy lost one-and-a-half or two miles north of the Village of Placitas (Plaza de Sonadores). Lost March 31. Male, about eight months old named “Tim.” Was wearing a rainbow collar. #2081

Dog: Large white lab, male, about ten months old, lost from Sundance Mesa subdivision of western Placitas area. Lost April 11. #2090

Dog: Little black and tan Shepherd-cross, lost from Placitas Trails (not far from I-25) on April 12. Shy, small, young dog named “Cedar.” #2092

Dog: Pit Bull. Short-haired pit bull mix with big floppy ears, lost from south of the Village of Placitas (Dome Valley) in mid-April. White chest and belly. Smiles all the time. Wearing black leather studded collar. Named “Buddy.” #2093


Cat: Small female with part of its left ear missing. Found near the nine-mile marker of Highway 165 (south of the Village of Placitas) on April 9. Long-haired, black with tan streaks. Very, very friendly. #2087

Cat/kitten: Young cat found at Burger King in Bernalillo. Was then picked up by Bernalillo Animal Control.

Two dogs: Two male mixed-breed dogs found April 20 on Camino Barranca in La Mesa (Northwestern Placitas area). Very friendly. One is smaller. #2096 & 2097
[See photo above.]


Two dogs:
Two dogs seen running loose near Anasazi Trails and Trails Road East on April 4. One was a large brindle with a snub nose, the other a shepherd mix with a big, fluffy tail. #2083 and 2084

Horse: Chestnut-colored horse with white face seen on the ridge in the City of Albuquerque Open Space near Sundance Mesa (Northwestern Placitas area) on April 17. Did not look or act like one of the wild horses. #2094

One of our neighbors reported to the Animal Hotline that her dog was shot and killed (apparently by a .22) in late March a couple miles north of the Village of Placitas.

Thanks to Rudy for helping get the two pit bulls home from Rosa Castilla!

Animal News

Veterinary Clinic at Watermelon Mountain Ranch

Veterinary Clinic at Watermelon Mountain Ranch

An injured cat takes a minute to play with hemostats and string.

An injured cat takes a minute to play with hemostats and string.

Watermelon Mountain Ranch rescues local animals from abuse, euthanasia


Watermelon Mountain Ranch (WMR) is a no-kill shelter that has saved more than eight thousand animal lives to date. The Ranch was conceived in 1996 by Sophia and Lee DiClemente, after they moved to the Albuquerque area and became aware of the thousands of animals being euthanized in New Mexico every year.

WMR fosters educational and enrichment activities which extend to every member of our community, young and old. Programs include mobile adoption units, elementary/middle school humane education, working with special-needs children and adults, outreach to the elderly and hospitalized individuals, and working with at-risk youth.

WMR erected a veterinary clinic to service the needs of animals taken in at the ranch, as well as providing services to municipalities and other rescue organizations. Since the opening of the clinic last May, WMR has spayed or neutered more than three thousand animals. In addition, the ranch has successfully treated more than seventy severely abused dogs and cats in 2007 alone. Animal injuries treated in Watermelon’s Veterinary Clinic are among some of the most atrocious witnessed in animal rescue, including burns, broken bones, stab wounds, gunshot wounds, severe beating, neck injuries from leash strangulations, and animals thrown from moving vehicles. Watermelon Mountain Ranch’s mission is to save each and every one of these animals and find them a loving “forever home.” No animal is euthanized at Watermelon Mountain Ranch, except in the most extreme medical situations and to prevent further suffering of the animal.
Although WMR has a handful of dedicated paid employees, they still depend primarily on volunteers and the financial contributions of caring individuals in our community. Work performed by volunteers includes serving as adoption counselors and animal caregivers at the ranch, assisting with fundraisers and events, assisting with office duties, driving, and many other duties.

Without WMR, more than 3,796 dogs and cats would not have found families in 2006 and may have fallen victim to euthanasia. It is a small, yet valuable endeavor to personally rescue animals and attempt to find them homes, but it is a colossal mission to provide education and support to the community while placing animals in homes.

WMR can be contacted at 771-0140 or

Is your pet iguana legal?

Is your iguana, boa or sugar glider a legal immigrant in New Mexico? Does your pet have the proper papers to prevent authorities from taking it away?

New Mexico pet shop owners and others who possess, import or sell non-domestic animals are encouraged to attend one of a series of meetings scheduled across the state to remind people about laws and rules that may apply to them. Current rules specify that any non-domestic animal must be imported through the Department of Game and Fish with a proper permit for the animal to be legally possessed in the state.

Find out more about the rules, why they are important, and how they may affect you and others by attending one of the following meetings:

  • Santa Fe: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 26, Department of Game and Fish office, 1 Wildlife Way.
  • Albuquerque: 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. May 1, Department of Transportation office, District 3 auditorium, 7500 Pan American Freeway.

For more information about the meetings, please contact Rhonda Holderman, or (505) 476-8064.

Counselor starts pet loss support group

Ann Beyke, .M.A. LPC, pet loss and bereavement counselor, will begin a pet loss support group for individuals grieving the loss of a beloved companion animal. The group begins May 8, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Source for Creating Sacredness, 1111 Carlisle SE. The group meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month.

Losing a pet can be devastating for some people. This pet loss support group is an emotionally safe environment that’s caring, compassionate and supportive for individuals to share their loss. People have the capacity not only to heal from loss, but also possess the inherent ability to empathize with others experiencing similar pain. “Empathy is a powerful tool in healing,” says Beyke. “The group is not designed as personal counseling, but rather a way to understand one’s own suffering, which can often be enhanced through the experience of helping another person. And the verbalization this requires is also a helpful tool.”

According to statistics from the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, more that 63 percent of American households own a pet and 45 percent of those homes have more than one. As evidenced by the growth of pet services, from hotels to canine bakeries and dog parks, owners treat their animals as an important part of their families. It’s not surprising, then, that losing a pet can be traumatic.

Pre-registration is required. For information or to register for an upcoming meeting, contact Ann Beyke at or call at 505-265-3087 (office) or 505-239-8794 (cell). Sliding scale fees are available in an effort to ensure that anyone who wants to attend can, regardless of income or ability to pay.

Prior to opening her pet loss and bereavement counseling practice in 2006, Beyke worked at the Animal Humane Association of New Mexico. She has a Master?s degree in counseling and twenty years experience working with non-profits in Albuquerque. She is currently Community Relations Manager with the Alliance for Albuquerque Animals and serves on the board of the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement.






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