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. 812, 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 doptions for found animals are run in the column for free.

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


DOG: Miniature Australian shepherd lost on July 8 in Ranchos de Placitas. Black with white and copper trim; white paws and neck. 35 pounds; 17inches tall at shoulders. Docked tail. Was spotted in late July. Reward offered. #1819

CAT: Grey female cat lost from Placitas West on July 30. Gorgeous smoke-grey neutered female. 4 years old, with no marks on her. #1820


DOG: Black male dog found on August 9
in the village of Placitas with broken leg.

Persistent bear is killed in Moriarty

A hungry bear’s long journey ended in her destruction after attempts at relocation failed, according to Marty Frentzel of the state Department of Game and Fish. First caught June 28 near Cedro while raiding bird feeders, the young female black bear was relocated to Mount Taylor.

She made the trek from Mount Taylor to the West Mesa of Albuquerque four days later, where she eluded capture and was caught a second time a few days later in Moriarty and relocated again, this time to the San Pedro Parks Wilderness near Cuba.
The persistent bear then made the 100-plus-mile trek back to Moriarty, where she was caught for the third time and subsequently killed.

“More people living in bear habitat than in the past means more opportunities for bears to get into trouble,” Frentzel said.
Frentzel said the number of calls about bears is highest at this time of year, as the animals spend “twenty-three of twenty-four hours looking for food” in preparation for winter. “Once acorns and other natural foods ripen, there is a reduction in these complaints,” he added.

“Give the bears a break and take down the bird feeders at night,” Frentzel advised. “Keep trash inside at night. Some people think it’s cute to feed bears, but you’re sentencing that bear to death.” A study by Game and Fish a few years ago estimated the number of bears in the state at 5,000 to 6,000.
This article was originally published in The Independent, August 10-16, 2005.

Forest Service employee keeps his cool as five lions approach

What would you do if you encountered a mountain lion in the wild? How about five mountain lions? If you're smart, you'll do just what John Montoya, a U.S. Forest Service employee, did August 1 while working in southeastern New Mexico.

Montoya was hiking to a wildlife trick tank (a structure for grazing animals that is placed away from riparian areas and naturally fed by rainwater or snow melt) on the top of Patos Mountain in southeastern New Mexico when he noticed a mountain lion watching him from a rock bluff a few hundred yards from the tank. While looking for a safe escape route back down the mountain, Montoya noticed four more lions coming up the drainage toward him. As he backed off the mountain, one of the lions suddenly appeared about thirty feet behind him, so he started yelling and waving his hard hat and shovel in an effort to scare the lion off. Too cautious to attack, but undaunted by Montoya's display, the lion followed him down the mountain, stopping when Montoya stopped. Montoya finally made it back to his truck, with the lion stopping at the edge of the tree line in thick oak brush.

Montoya's actions were excellent examples of what people should do if they encounter a mountain lion. He looked for a safe escape route when he first noticed the lions, making sure to stay out of any thick brush or trees. When one of the lions closed the distance and walked toward him, he made noise and made himself appear larger by waving his arms. He then proceeded to back slowly away from the lion, maintaining indirect eye contact until he was in a safe place.

While wildlife attacks of any kind on people are rare in New Mexico, there are some simple steps to follow if you find yourself in an encounter with a mountain 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.

People shouldn't be afraid to enjoy the outdoors in New Mexico. However, it always is a good idea to be aware of your surroundings, especially when hiking or camping in areas where prey species, such as deer, may be concentrated. In this instance, the mountain lions—probably a female with yearling kittens—may have been waiting for prey to come for water at the trick tank. Montoya just happened to show up when the lions were still active.

Homeless Corrales pets go online

Bro and Tracy Animal Welfare, of Corrales, recently started listing its homeless pets on, the oldest and largest database of adoptable animals on the Internet. The site currently has over 190,800 homeless pets listed, and it is updated continuously.

Betsy Saul, president and cofounder of Petfinder, said, “Residents of the area will now be able to look at local pets from the comfort of home. Those same pets, though, will also be presented to a much greater pool of potential adopters outside their own community.”

More than 8,890 animal-welfare organizations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico post their pets on

Bro and Tracy Animal Welfare pets can be viewed at Once visitors to the site find a pet they are interested in, they contact the shelter where it is housed. Each animal-welfare group has its own policies and handles its own adoptions.





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