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My name is Sugar and I am a 7 year old labby girl in search of a new home. I did some hard time in the shelter because my family didn’t have time for me anymore, but due to my wonderful disposition and the fact that I wasn’t actually guilty of…
Terry Dudding shared their event on Facebook
Dec 11
Terry Dudding posted an event

Hot Cocoa & Baked Goods Sale at Scarlett's Gallery

December 24, 2014 from 5pm to 9pm
Scarlett’s Antique Shop & Gallery, 225 Canyon Road, will host a Baked Goods and Hot Cocoa Sale on Christmas Eve during the Canyon Road Farolito Walk to benefit The Heart & Soul Animal Sanctuary in Glorieta. Baked goods and hot cocoa are being provided by volunteers, and include homemade fudge, biscochitos, cakes, assorted cookies, and many other scrumptious goodies. All (100 percent) of the sales benefit The Heart and Soul Animal Sanctuary. Santa Fe artist, Julian Romero, has created a…See More
Dec 11
Luvin Labs posted photos
Dec 10
Bobbi Heller posted events
Dec 1
Ben Swan posted blog posts
Nov 29
Profile IconTanya L Clokey, Marcus Hamilton, Karen Horning and 3 more joined Santa Fe Scoop
Nov 29


Lost your dog? Find a lost or injured animal? Here are important contact numbers in Santa Fe and Santa Fe County:

In the city limits, Animal Services is at 955-2701. On weekends and holidays, call SFPD dispatch at 955-2700.
In the county, Animal Control is at 992-1626. On weekends and holidays, call Sheriff's dispatch at 428-3720.

Still unsure about what to do to find your lost pet? Read these tips put together by Scoop member Julie.

Want to be part of a growing number of people who help find animals? Join the e-mail alert list about lost/found animals. Organized by Scoop member Claudia Inoue, recipients are notified when there is an animal lost in the Santa Fe area. If you'd like to be a part of the list, e-mail Read more about the database.

Suspect an animal might be suffering from abuse? Call the toll-free statewide hot line for reporting extreme cruelty to animals at 1-877-548-6263.

Have a favorite animal-related link? Let me know at and I'll post it here.

Animal Protection of New Mexico

Animal Shelter Tips Blog

All Creatures Memorials

Baghdad pups

Best Friends Animal Sancturary

Bridging the Worlds Animal Sanctuary

Cat Spay of Santa Fe

City of Santa Fe Animal Services

Desert Paws - news from Cochiti Lake

Dew Paws

East Mountain Pet Alert

Espanola Valley Humane Society

Felines & Friends New Mexico

House Rabbit Society

Kindred Spirits Animal Sanctuary

Listening to Raven: Artist Beth Surdut


Luvin' Labradors Retriever Rescue New Mexico

New Mexico House Rabbit Society

New Mexico Independent Border Collie Rescue

New Mexico Mustang and Burro Association

Pet Loss Support Page

Santa Fe Border Collie Club

Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society

Santa Fe Dog Park blog

Save the Chimps

Shaking Wind Ranch

Southwest Llama Rescue

The Wildlife Center



Tales of Tails: The Anxious Dog

By Hersch Wilson/For The New Mexican

My plan was to write a column about dogs and Thanksgiving. I was going to begin with a story of how, when I was 12, a big family Thanksgiving was subverted by our dog. Sensing a momentary lapse in my mom’s normal vigilance, Max snatched the 15-pound turkey off the counter and sprinted out the front door startling the rest of our arriving family. The kids chased but to no avail. We had a turkey-less Thanksgiving. But Max was the most thankful dog you’ve ever seen.

But my plan took a left turn when my sister called worried about her dog, Riley. It was winter (October!) in Minnesota and the radiators were beginning to clank in the house and Riley had become anxious. I thought, seriously, radiators? But at night he was sitting next to my sister’s bed and panting. She put him in the hallway and he’d scratch at the door.

I asked, “Why don’t you just have him sleep on your bed?”

Bonnie laughed, “Who lets dogs sleep on the bed?”

Of course at that moment both our Berners were dead asleep on our bed. I chose not to argue the point.

But, as a dutiful brother, I decided to look into how to help a mildly anxious dog.

I say mildly, because just like humans, anxiety can span a spectrum from slight to severe. Severe anxiety in dogs requires professional help. Your vet is the first logical step.

But mild anxiety is something we can help. With dogs, two of the large causes of anxiety are noise and separation from their humans.

I’m going to suggest ideas to deal with both, but let’s start with anxiety in general in dogs. 

Idea No. 1 for Dog Anxiety:  Keep them active!

Here’s a tip that works with me, an anxious human. When I have been stuck indoors with no exercise for more than two days, my anxiety level shoots through the roof. In those times, I haven’t scraped all the wallpaper off a wall (we had a German shepherd, Zuni, who did that), but I’ve thought about it. The key for me is getting outside, getting exercise: walks, runs, chasing a ball . . .

I imagine being cooped up for a dog is like me having three or four triple shots of espresso and then sitting on the couch: Something bad will happen, like clawing through a screen. Just like with raising kids, the goal should be an exhausted dog at the end of the day, too tired to care about anything but food and sleep. This is how my wife, Laurie, deals with me.

Idea No. 2: Use a toy to distract them from you leaving.

The best — simple and cheap — idea I came across for mild separation anxiety is to give your dog a special treat when you leave. My favorite is a Kong toy. It’s a hard rubber hollow toy that you can stuff with peanut butter or cream cheese. Dogs love them and it will occupy them for quite a while. But the key is to only give them to your dog when you’re leaving! The idea is that dogs will associate you leaving with the treat. My only concern with using them with our dogs, who do not have separation anxiety, is they will start nudging us out of the house so they can get the toys.

Idea No. 3: The Thundershirt

Here is a simple idea to try for dogs who are “noise phobic.”  These are the dogs who react to thunder, fireworks or the clanking of radiators.

Thundershirts are like a stretchy jacket that snuggly fit over a dog (or cat).  The theory, supported by Temple Grandin, the animal behaviorist and best-selling author, is that the “gentle hug” reduces anxiety in animals. Although this doesn’t seem to be a 100 percent solution, there is anecdotal evidence of success. One of the keys is to have a dog get used to it before needing it. If you only put it on a dog when, for example, the storm has hit, the animal will associate it with the thunder, thus defeating the purpose.

If none of the above work, there are still options, although they are increasingly expensive and complex. 

Behavior modification. You can work with your dog to change their behavior. This can be time consuming and my advice is to get the help of a professional animal behaviorist. 

Medication. Yes, anti-anxiety medications exist for dogs, including Xanax and some of the anti-depressants like Prozac.  A tip: don’t just give your dog your Xanax.  Check with your Vet!

Having gathered all the above information, I called my sister back.  She went with the Thundershirt, Ambien and Kong ideas but rejected the more walks-with-Riley suggestion.

“It’s Minnesota, it’s November and it’s dark! I’ll wait until spring … .”

So I revealed my last suggestion. 

“Bonnie, it’s time for you to learn how to Free Style Dance with Riley.”

There was silence. 

Then, “What?”

“Free Style Dance! It’s a real thing. Put on some Bruno Mars and teach Riley to dance with you! Who could be anxious after that? Maybe the two of you could enter competitions … .”

“Do you dance with your dogs?”

“Um, no. They are like the preacher in the movie Footloose. Start dancing and they feel the need to stomp it out. But you and Riley are cut out to be dancers! It definitely will cure his radiator clanking anxiety.  Maybe you could start with a two-step!”

I think that was when she hung up.

Hersch Wilson is a Santa Fe author who yearns to understand all things canine. Reach him at

Scoop bulletins

Scoop - We are the heart of Santa Fe's great animal-loving community.

Remember in order to become a member of Scoop, you must indicate whether you have an animal companion and what his or her name is. Those who don't have animal companions must simply say what animals mean to them. It's a simple rule, but it helps to eliminate spammers or those with certain agendas.

PLEASE remember we do not allow unsupported blog postings that are intended as attacks on any groups or individuals. This is a place for communication about animal-welfare issues and not one-sided agendas.

GOT NEWS? Send all your animal story ideas, pet-related events or interesting facts to and they will be published in Thursday's Scoop section of The New Mexican (depending on space. You are welcome to post items here as well! is a community-networking site. If you wish to advertise a product or service please contact our advertising department at (505) 995-3846. Profiles that are overtly commercial can be removed.

We continue to be plagued by Spammers. Those interested in becoming members, please sign up, but also email to assure acceptance. Sorry of the inconvenience.

Blog Posts

Exercise caution, watch for animals while driving along country roads

By Will Webber

The New Mexican

An evening drive along the spider web of highways and back roads of Northern New Mexico can be a harrowing experience, and it has nothing to do with the lack of gas stations or intolerant law enforcement officials handing out…


Posted by Ben Swan on November 29, 2014 at 10:37am

Local animal news in brief, Nov. 26, 2014

Alpen Schatz trunk show at Teca Tu

A local pet boutique encourages people to attend a trunk show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, at the store in the Sanbusco Market Center.

The show at Teca Tu features Colorado pet boutique “Alpen Schatz," who will be bringing beautiful European leashes, collars and harnesses, including popular brands such as La Cinopelca of Italy, HUNTER of Germany and Alpen Schatz of Switzerland.…


Posted by Ben Swan on November 29, 2014 at 10:32am

Shopping Can Help Felines & Friends

If you shop at:

Albertson's - please stop by our Adoption Center at Petco and pick up a Community Partners card and swipe each time you check out at Albertsons.

Smith's -  simply log in it to and link your Rewards Card to Felines & Friends. - log into instead of the regular Amazon site.   Search…


Posted by Bobbi Heller on October 15, 2014 at 8:02pm


EYES WIDE OPEN PLEASE SANTA FE FRIENDS from Julie Kokin Miller: At approx 5:15 this evening (Monday) a black lab ran in front of my car on Alameda near Don Gaspar. I hit the dog with my car but she kept on running. I have been with the owners looking for her ever since. They do not live in this area (Albuquerque) so the dog is running scared. I don't know how injured she is. Can you please help me get the word out…


Posted by Sloan Cunningham on October 13, 2014 at 8:15pm — 1 Comment

‘Blazing Saddles’ tribute benefits shelter

A cast member of the comedy classic Blazing Saddles will host a showing of the film at the Lensic Performing Arts Center on Nov. 21 to benefit the Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society.

The event is a celebration of the 40th anniversary of film,…


Posted by Ben Swan on October 9, 2014 at 10:44am

Local animal news in brief, Oct. 9, 2014

Rummage sale benefits Wildlife Center

A Saturday fundraiser dubbed Boutique, Estate And Rummage Sale or BEARS, will benefit The Wildlife Center.

The 9 a.m. sale is in the parking lot of St. John’s Methodist Church at Cordova Road and Old Pecos Train in Santa Fe. In addition to a great selection of things to purchase such as jewelry, books, sporting goods, artwork and tools, the center also will have live educational raptors on display.

All proceeds will…


Posted by Ben Swan on October 9, 2014 at 10:34am


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