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

Hotline dogs

Rosco and Nina are missing. If you see them, call Dave.

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.


CAT: Black cat with one white whisker over his right eye. Lost from Camino de San Francisco (northeast of the village of Placitas) the last week of July. #1975

DOG: Black female chow mix lost from Ranchos de Placitas the first week of August. Spayed, wearing a red collar (with silver hearts on it) with vaccination tag. #1976

2 DOGS: Female husky named Nina and male Stepfordshire terrier (looks like a pit bull) named Rosco lost from Camino de las Huertas in late August about 3.5 miles north of the village of Placitas. Got out on August 20. See photo. #1980 and #1981


KITTEN: Tiny all-black kitten found west of the village off Davis Loop area (south side of Highway 165) on July 27. #1974

CAT: Longhaired orange adult cat found at Placitas West Road on August 16. Has shaved hind quarters. #1979

FERRET: Ferret found in Tunnel Springs area (west of the Village of Placitas) on August 24. #1982

CAT: Longhaired black cat spotted at the end of Trigo Road, about two miles north of the village of Placitas, off Camino de las Huertas, on August 24. #1983

Animal News

Wily puma leads Estancia merry chase

The whole town of Estancia turned out when a cougar paid a surprise visit last Thursday [August 3]. The first 911 call came at 1:10 p.m. from potter Alma Wimsatt, who found the young male mountain lion on her back porch boxing with his reflection in the window.

Her first thought was that he might be her new neighbor’s pet, but pulling the curtain aside disabused her of that notion. “That’s no dog!” she exclaimed and yelled through the glass, “Get out of here.” He was nonchalant, she said, and showed no fear in addition to ignoring her command.

Wimsatt called 911 to report her intruder. “Dispatch didn’t believe me at first, I don’t think,” Wimsatt said. When she returned to her back door, he was gone.

Where he went was up and down all the byways of the town, artfully eluding the 50 or so townspeople seeking him out plus the fire department, police department, animal control and numerous other officials. The wily puma went to ground upon the arrival of a news helicopter and sirens.

State fish and game officer Gabe Chavez quickly took charge of the hunt and rescue operation, which lasted over two hours. Law enforcement was armed with semi-automatic weapons, just in case the animal decided to fight his way out of the blockade.But mostly it was like an undeclared holiday for a citizen posse, ranging in age upward from a year old, that surrounded six square blocks. Few displayed any more concern about the situation than the cougar had at Wimsatt’s back door. Salvador Gonzalez, one of the few who recognized the threat the lion might pose, stood on the roof of his mobile home and spotted the cat hiding under his house.The cougar moved to the back porch of the home at 10th and Williams, where Chavez finally cornered him and got off a shot of his tranquilizer gun. The cat fell unconscious only five blocks from the first sighting.

“It’s not an uncommon occurrence for young males to range out of the mountains looking for a territory of their own,” said Chavez. The mother kicks them out and then they are driven from their home territory by the dominant male, he explained.The Estancia tourist was a healthy juvenile who still sported a few of his fading baby spots. After caging and stabilizing the animal, Chavez escorted the cougar to his new home to the mountains east of Grants.

Reprinted from The Independent, August 2-August 8, 2006

Dr. Kim Hammel, DVM, and Angela Cherry, vet tech, assist a white cat.
Dr. Kim Hammel, DVM, and Angela Cherry, vet tech, assist a white cat.

Watermelon Ranch Kennel
Thomas’s Canine Cottage

Earl's Catnap Inn
Earl’s Catnap Inn

Rain slows WMR construction

The recent rains created havoc for the animals, personnel, volunteers, and our builders alike. The arroyos constantly overflowed and washed out Progress Boulevard each and every time it rained, making access a real challenge. The dedicated family at Watermelon Mountain Ranch Animal Center parked and walked in and out every day. To say that it has been a terrible strain is an understatement and our sincerest thanks go out to everyone who endured incredible hardships to help us during this very difficult time. Thank you, one and all!

The building at the ranch is somewhat behind schedule, as the trucks could not get in for several weeks. However, Earl’s Catnap Inn—in loving memory of Earl Bohrer—is nearing completion, as is Thomas’s Canine Cottage.

Thanks to the students at Cottonwood Montessori School, who donated the much needed funds to build our veterinary quarantine building, which is completed and will be dedicated in the next few weeks.

WMRAC is pleased to welcome Dr. Kim Conkling-Hammel, who is in charge of our spay and neuter programs at the ranch. Since opening in August, we have sterilized almost two hundred rescued Sandoval County animals. This total includes all of the animals at Rio Rancho Animal Control, which are now sterilized at the ranch prior to going into their new homes. By aggressive spay/neuter programs, we hope to significantly reduce our animal population. Our goal: no more homeless animals and a no-kill county.

Zoo, aquarium, botanic garden seek volunteers

The Albuquerque BioPark’s Rio Grande Zoo, Albuquerque Aquarium, and Rio Grande Botanic Garden are looking for adult volunteers to teach about wildlife, plants, and marine animals. No science or teaching experience is required. For additional information or a complete job description, call BioPark Education, at 505 764-6245.

The BioPark offers opportunities for people with interests in animals and their habitats, fish and the oceans, and the world of plants. Volunteer teachers lead tours, teach about plants and animals on exhibit, travel to schools in Albuquerque and around New Mexico, and provide other exciting, hands-on education activities for BioPark visitors. All information necessary to be a volunteer teacher will be taught.

The BioPark is an accessible facility and a division of the City of Albuquerque’s Cultural Services Department. Combo admission to the BioPark is $12 for ages 13-64, $5 for ages 65+, $5 for ages 3-12; children two years old and younger are admitted free. For assistance in visiting, please call 505 768-2000 or 311 (NM Voice/Relay or 711), preferably with three days advance notice. Visit for more information about the facilities and programs.

The Albuquerque Biological Park is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you and a better future for all living things. With more than two hundred accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation and your link to helping animals in their native habitats.





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