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.


My name is “Buddy” and I’m lost. Call Dave, if you see me. #3085.



Dog: Pit bull mix, male, named “Buddy,” lost from near the Village of Placitas at the end of September. Buddy is about three years old, reddish-brown and white, and loves everyone. He was wearing a green nylon collar, but lost his tags. He is about 24” tall at the shoulders. There is a reward offered for his return. (See photo.) #3085

Two Chickens: Two chickens lost from the Village of Placitas, north of the Presbyterian Church (near the winery) on September 29. Possibly run off by a large wild cat. One is a puffy black one; the other one is black with a strange white hairdo. #3086 and 3087

Cat: Large, silver male cat lost from the Village of Placitas, near the Presbyterian Church, in early October. One and a half or two years old. Silver and black striped cat. Not neutered. Had a break-away collar. #3092

Cat: Siamese cat lost from Bernalillo (near the Rotary Park) on October 13. Female, three-year-old indoor cat got out. Full Siamese, medium-build, with blue eyes and answers to the name “Zoe.” Owners will reward anyone who returns her. #3106

Two dogs: Two Huskies lost from Santa Ana Pueblo in mid-October. Possibly wandered across I-25 near the La Farge gravel operation and Sundance Mesa or Petroglyph Trail subdivisions. One is a pure white male; the other is a grey and white female. #3095 and 3096

Dog: Hound dog lost from between the Village of Placitas and Tunnel Springs Road (south side of Highway 165). Brown and white, one-year-old male, about eighty pounds. Has a black training collar and is shy. #3101

Dog: Chihuahua. Little female, scruffy-looking, Chihuahua-terrier mix, female. Lost from just south of the Village of Placitas on about October 23. #3102


Dog: Pit bull/terrier puppy, four-month-old male, lost from Bernalillo (South Hill Road, close to I-25), on October 22. Tan, with a pink triangle on his nose. Has collar and tags. #3104

Dog: Greyhound-mix, grey and white, kind of small, female, lost October 27, from Sundance Mesa near the BLM, in Northwest, Placitas. #3107

Dog: Great Dane, black, female, lost from Llano del Norte, on October 28. Kind of skinny and big, has reddish collar with flowers on it, super skittish. #3108


Dog: Rottweiler-cross found wandering about a half mile off the frontage road on Petroglyph Trail in Anasazi Meadows subdivision of western Placitas area. Found on October 14. Male with stubby tail. Picked up by Placitas Animal Rescue. #3094

Dog: Pekinese, small male, found in Bernalillo (South Hill Road, close to I-25), on October 24. #3105


Animal News
Painting by Marjie Bassler

Jolie Blonde and Phantom, painting, by Marjie Bassler

Local artist creates pet portraits with personality

Ever see a pet portrait of two prairie dogs? A fish? Goats and a pot-bellied pig? Local artist Marjie Bassler has painted all these and many more.

“So far, I’ve painted over two hundred pet portraits,” says Bassler, “typically dogs and cats, but also horses, rabbits and many other animal companions. I once did a portrait of a bull snake that liked to get up on the back of an outdoor bench and watch Star Trek through the living room window. Apparently the snakes in Placitas like to stay current on modern culture,” Bassler jokes.

Bassler paints on paper or canvas in acrylic, watercolor, or a mixture of the two, and is known for her use of humor and bright colors. Working from photos and a description of the animal’s personality, Bassler creates a portrait that is truly unique.

“I try to capture some of the love that people feel for their animal companions and the joy they experience together. This gives these portraits an added dimension.”

In addition to the portraits, Bassler also does other paintings of animals in the same humorous, colorful style. She frequently donates artwork to various animal rescue groups, including the Animal Humane Association of New Mexico, Watermelon Mountain Ranch, and Walkin’ N Circles Ranch, as well as to charities that help people.

You can see Bassler’s work at the Placitas Holiday Sale on November 17 and 18 in the big tent next to Rio Sierra Realty. She also shows at Art Gallery 66 in Bernalillo and in Albuquerque at Sumner & Dene and Casa de Avila and at

Hearts for Horses seeks volunteers


The Hearts for Horses volunteer organization is seeking horse-friendly volunteers to assist at a November 10 event. Hearts for Horses is a free, all-volunteer organization that provides equestrian experiences to children who are affected by Down’s syndrome. These opportunities allow the kids to have some good, old-fashioned fun. The program is not intended to be therapy. Our next event is Saturday, November 10 from 10:00 a.m. until noon at the Vista Sandia Equestrian Center. We seek volunteers who own very gentle horses or ponies. We have three volunteers with each child—one to lead the horse, and two “walk-alongs” to help hold the children. If you’re interested in volunteering for the event, please contact John Colang through his website at We need volunteers to help with the children and horses, to bake and bring cookies and snacks, and to help cheer the kids on! If you know of any children affected by Down’s syndrome, please spread the word. We need additional horses and ponies for this incredibly rewarding two-hour event. All types of volunteers are needed and welcome (even if you don’t have horse experience). Children must be fourteen years of age or older to volunteer.

CranesFestival of Cranes returns to Bosque del Apache

This is the eighteenth year that the city of Socorro, New Mexico, and the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) have celebrated the return of the cranes with this festival. They invite you to share it with them from November 13 to 18.

Education is an important part of the mission of the Bosque del Apache NWR. Throughout the year, the Bosque is host to meetings, seminars, international film crews, tours, visits by groups of school children and, in November, the Festival of the Cranes. There are four major components to the festival: tours, lectures, exhibits and the Refuge.

Tours are offered to introduce you to areas and topics not commonly available during the year. Birders will be out from dawn to dusk, on and off of the Bosque, including a birding tour on Elephant Butte Lake. The management of local National Wildlife Refuges will conduct groups and explain in detail the operation of each refuge. During the Historic Socorro Open House, photo galleries and historic buildings will be open for visitors. New Mexico Tech and the scientific community will also have displays and tours. Caution to birders: read the descriptions carefully—not all tours are for birding.

Lectures are offered for a variety of wildlife-related subjects. Most lectures are given at the Macey Center in Socorro. Some lectures are workshops in photography, bird identification, and wildlife painting. Workshops are conducted in the field or special facilities.

On Saturday, November 17, and most of Sunday the 18th, the main promenade at the Refuge will be filled with exhibits and demonstrations. This is where you will see animals up close. Animal rescue groups will display mammals and birds along the perimeter of the promenade. If you ever wanted a full head photo of a flammulated owl, this may be your only opportunity. In the visitor center and the art and exhibitors tents, you will find educational activities as well as items for sale.

The Bosque del Apache NWR is ready to celebrate the return of the cranes with you. The Fly-Out in the morning and the Fly-In in the evening are memorable events. You are free to experience this on your own or you may join one of the tours. More may be learned by visiting:

New Mexico Wilderness Alliance presents study and film about living with wolves

Jim and Jamie Dutcher, wildlife documentary filmmakers, will present a one-hour program on their six-year study of wolves in Idaho (including a thirty-seven-minute segment of their film Living with Wolves) at the Lensic Theatre in Santa Fe on November 9 at 7:00 p.m.

Brought here for a program sponsored by the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, the Dutchers have graciously waived a considerable part of their speaking fee to offer their program at the Lensic.

The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance is a nonprofit 501(c)3 grassroots environmental organization dedicated to the protection, restoration, and continued enjoyment of New Mexico’s wild lands and wilderness areas. The Alliance has joined forces with the Dutchers to bring New Mexico’s wolves into focus as they face dire circumstances.

“As we see wolves once again being shot and trapped and poisoned, we recognize that our incredible opportunity to live with wolves is unlikely to ever happen again,” the Dutchers explain. “For that reason, we feel that we have an obligation to share the lives of the Sawtooth pack and their kin with the widest audience possible, to save wolves and the wild land they need for future generations.”

The knowledge and passion brought by the Dutchers will help raise awareness of the plight of the Mexican grey wolves in southern New Mexico, and inspire people to support New Mexico Wilderness Alliance conservation efforts there and throughout the state.






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