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).

Found cat. If you know me, call the Animal Hotline!


CAT: Young, male, black-and-brown Tabby. Found hiding in a culvert on Saturday, September 19, near Camino de las Huertas and Hozhoni Road.Very friendly and obviously used to being around people. Being taken to Animal Humane off Virginia in Albuquerque, on Monday 9/28. #4064.


DOG:  Young, German Shepherd-cross approximately weighs 35 lbs.  Seen September 9 at the corner of Trails Road East and Hwy 165 in Placitas.  #4065


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

Hey, Lalo, Wanna play some tunes with me? Luv, “Vassar”
—Photo by Siobhan Hammack

“Oh yeah, I’m one good-lookin’ roadrunner!”
—Photo by Todd Rennecker, Placitas

Bear attacks

Signpost Staff

On the evening of September 9, on the Canyon de Valle Trail north of Los Alamos, Game officers report that a 56-year-old man was running on the trail when he came upon on a female bear and a cub. The cub promptly climbed a tree, while the man began making noises in hopes of scaring the adult bear away. Instead, she charged and knocked the man into a streambed where she began biting and clawing at his head. When the bear backed off, the man tried to stand up and was attacked again, according to game officers. The bear then wandered away.

The man was able to walk more than two miles to his car and flag down someone passing by who took him to the Los Alamos Medical Center. After treatment there, he was taken to Christus St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe. His name has not been released.

A department spokesman later said officers were unable to locate the bear and cub. Anyone visiting bear country should be alert for the animals that are currently feeding on acorns and piñon nuts in advance of winter.

The next day an elk hunter who said a bear followed him up a tree suffered bites to his foot during an encounter west of Wagon Mound. The sixty-year-old man from Missouri was treated at Alta Vista Hospital in Las Vegas and released. He told game officers he was eating lunch when a sow and cub came to a nearby water hole. He took photos and video before the bear charged. The man climbed a tree, fell about 15 feet and climbed again being bitten through his boot as the bear climbed after him. Along the way he fired a warning shot and four shots at the bear but couldn’t scare it away.
After the bear left, the man radioed to his guide for help. The guide told game officers that when he arrived his client was near the top of a fifty-foot tree. Game officers were unable to locate these bears either—the scent was lost in a subsequent rainstorm.
Two attacks with injuries were reported earlier this year: a Raton girl bitten while she slept in a tent outside her home, and a man scratched while looking for antlers in Lincoln County.

In announcing the recent attacks, the game department released a list of ways to help protect oneself in bear country.

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.

If you live or camp 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.
  • Never intentionally feed bears to attract them for viewing.
  • 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.
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