The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Dave Harper (right) and friendAnimal Hotline is a nonprofit community service for lost/found pets in Placitas and Bernalillo
P. O. B. 100, Placitas, NM 87043
To report a lost or found animal, Call Dave Harper at 867-6135 or e-mail

People with pets for adoption or sale should place a Signpost classified ad or consider a $5 donation to the Animal Hotline to run the information in this column. Lost and found listings and adoptions for found animals are run in the column for free.

For lost/found pets in Placitas and Bernalillo, call Dave Harper at 867-6135

Signpost Cartoon, c. Rudi Klimpert

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.


DOG: Small female mixed-breed puppy the color of a penny, lost from Bernalillo near I-25 Exit 240 (Avenida Bernalillo) on September 18. About four months old, with green eyes. She had been sick a little bit. "Penny" #1990


DOG: Little Australian shepherd, black-and-white with blue, black, and turquoise collar. Found in Ranchos de Placitas at the end of August. #1984

CAT: Female calico or tabby who seems to be in heat has been spotted in Placitas Homesteads and Trails in early September. Shorthaired, white and orange/cream-colored cat. #1985

DOG: Pit-bull cross found not far from I-25 at Exit 242, in Bernalillo (Jean Ct). in early September. Brown with white and light tan. #1986

TWO DOGS: Two chocolate labs found in Desert Mountain subdivision in western Placitas area on September 10. #1987 and 1988

Animal News

Young mountain lion killed outside Santa Fe

A Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department officer shot and killed a young mountain lion about midnight September 12 in the backyard of a residence south of Santa Fe.

The lion, a five-foot-long, forty-pound male with a twenty-inch tail, had just killed a feral house cat when a resident of Oak Street reported seeing it in his backyard about two miles east of the Lone Butte General Store. A sheriff’s deputy shot the lion after it would not leave its kill in the yard and showed no fear of humans, posing a public-safety hazard.

Department of Game and Fish northwest-area assistant chief Robert Livingston was en route to the site when the lion was killed. He said the young lion was about eighteen to twenty months old, the age when mother lions usually send their young out on their own. It’s possible it was the same lion—or a littermate—of the lion sighted recently in Santa Fe, he said, but there is no way to be certain of that.

Mountain-lion sightings are unusual but not uncommon in or around communities near mountains or foothills. Here are some simple steps to follow if you live in lion country or encounter a mountain lion:

At home:
• Closely supervise children. Make sure they are home before dusk and not outside before dawn. Make lots of noise if you come or go during times when mountain lions are most active—dusk to dawn. Teach your children about lions and what they should do if they encounter one.
• Landscape or remove vegetation to eliminate hiding cover for lions, especially around areas where children play. Make it difficult for a lion to approach unseen.
• Install outdoor lighting, especially in areas where you walk, so you can see a lion if one were present.
• Close off open spaces below porches or decks.
• Do not feed wildlife, primarily deer. Use native plants, not nonnatives, so as not to attract deer, which are the primary prey of lions. Remember, predators follow prey.
• Do not let your pets roam around outside. Bring them in at night. If you keep pets outside, provide a kennel with a secure top. Do not feed pets outside where the food can attract lions or other smaller animals, which lions prey upon. Store and dispose of all garbage securely.
• Encourage your neighbors to take these precautions, so that your neighborhood is a zone relatively safe from lions. Remember, prevention is much better than a possible confrontation with a lion.

If you encounter a lion:
• Stop—don’t run—and slowly back away. Running may stimulate a lion’s natural instinct to give chase and attack, as they would normally do with their prey.
• Make noise by yelling or talking loudly, and make yourself appear larger by raising your arms and waving them. If you have on a jacket or coat, open it and spread it out with your arms to make your silhouette larger.
• Convince the lion that you’re not prey by throwing rocks or sticks at it in an effort to drive it off. Convince the lion that you are dominant and a danger to it.
• If a lion attacks, fight back. Use anything you can as a weapon: rocks, sticks, backpacks, or your bare hands.
For more information about living with lions and other large predators, or to report a problem with wildlife, please contact a Department of Game and Fish conservation officer in your area, call (505) 476-8000, or visit and click on the Publications link.

River Otter
River otters may soon be a common sight on the upper Rio Grande and upper Gila River in New Mexico.

Game Commission approves otter restoration in New Mexico

The state Game Commission approved proposals to move forward with plans to restore river otters in two New Mexico Rivers, and to rename the fish hatchery and trout lakes in Los Ojos.

At its meeting August 24 in Santa Fe, the commission directed the Department of Game and Fish to proceed with plans to reintroduce river otters to sections of the upper Rio Grande and the upper Gila River. There have been no confirmed sightings of river otters in the state since the 1950s, but recent reports indicate some otters may have migrated to Navajo Lake from Colorado, where they were reintroduced in the 1980s.

The commission’s action followed the department’s presentation of a feasibility study that indicated otter reintroduction efforts could be successful in state waters that formerly were in the otters’ historic range. The study was the result of research by and collaboration with a diverse group of government agencies, the New Mexico River Otter Working Group, and members of the public.

The New Mexico Game Commission is composed of seven members who represent the state’s diverse interests in wildlife-associated recreation and conservation. Members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state senate. Current members are Leo Sims, chairman, Hobbs; Tom Arvas, vice-chairman, Albuquerque; Alfredo Montoya, Alcalde; David Henderson, Santa Fe; M.H. “Dutch” Salmon, Silver City; Peter Pino, Zia Pueblo; and Terry Riley, Tijeras. For more information, visit the Department of Game and Fish Web site, at

Thanks from Watermelon Mountain Ranch

All of us here at WMRAC wish to thank everyone who participated in the Petsmart Charities Fall Adoptathon. Besides WMR, Española, McKinley, Artesia shelters, Paws from Las Vegas, Felines and Friends from Santa Fe, Husky Rescue, and other breed-specific rescues brought their animals, and we are delighted that 159 animals found new, loving homes, making it the second most successful adoptathon event in the United States this year. Any animals that were left over from the municipal shelters were either absorbed into the WMR system or boarded at Zoey's Bed and Breakfast in Rio Rancho, pending being taken in by Watermelon. It was just wonderful seeing all the animal-control trucks coming in full and leaving empty. Our volunteers slept at Petsmart Coors for two nights and we can never thank them enough for their dedication and support of the event.

Our rescue partners at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary contacted us for help with absorbing some of the fifteen-hundred-plus rabbits that were rescued from Texas this summer. While we have plenty of land (ten-plus acres) we had no facility for rabbits, so in exchange of taking quite a few rabbits, Best Friends sent out someone to build us a facility. Apart from needing some landscaping, our Rabbitat has been completed and the rabbits will be delivered to us in October. (They have all been sterilized, so if you are looking for a rabbit, we can certainly oblige. The same adoption criteria as for dogs and cats will apply.)






Ad Rates  Back Issues   Contact Us  Front Page   Up Front  Animal News   Around Town  Business  Classifieds   Calendar  Community Bits  Community Center Community Profile  Eco-Beat   Featured Artist  The Gauntlet  Health  Community Links  Night Skies  My Wife and Times  Public Safety Sandoval Arts   Schoolbag  Time Off