Santa Fe Scoop

Welcome to Santa Fe Scoop, an online project of The Santa Fe New Mexican. Join in the fun and contribute to the discussion and share photos.


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Latest Activity

Almudena Ortiz Cué posted an event

Puppy & Dog Training Classes Starting in March at CHACOs Hub

March 5, 2016 from 11am to 12pm
C.H.A.C.O.'s Recall - Come When Called, Snake Avoidance and Finding Your Puppy's On & Off Switch training classes are coming this March!  Below are the details. If interested, sign up now as these tend to book fast.RECALL – Come When Called:Some of the most fun reasons for having a dog in our lives is to watch them do what they do best: Run at full speed, chase balls or swim, play off leash with other dogs and having our dogs come to us when we need them to do so!In this semi-private course…See More
Santa Fe Tails posted an event

Agility Training with Steve Moon at Santa Fe Tails

February 17, 2016 at 5:30pm to March 23, 2016 at 7:45pm
New Agility Classes are starting at Santa Fe Tails with Steve Moon!Foundation AgilityWednesdays Feb 17 - Mar 235:30 - 6:30pmIntermediate AgilityWednesdays Feb 17 - Mar 236:45 - 7:45pmTo sign-up, you can go to the Santa Fe Tails website at and download the class form and email it to us at or bring it by the facility at 2109 Warner Cir. Additionally, you can stop by the facility and we have forms available.If you…See More
Jan 26
Ben Swan posted a blog post

Local animal news in brief, Jan. 14, 2015

Grant helps with outreach, clinicsThe Española Valley Humane Society recently received a nearly $92,000 grant from PetSmart Charities for outreach and spay/neuter in rural New Mexico communities.The shelter says it’s had success in reducing the intake of animals in Española and now has the resources to help outlying communities. It was one of only 31 groups nationwide to receive the funding.“We know that pets living in poor communities are most likely to enter shelters, and this generous grant…See More
Jan 14
Profile Iconshari heier, Penelope Smith, Wendy H and 1 more joined Santa Fe Scoop
Jan 14
Rabbit Friendly posted a photo

House Rabbit Adoption, Sun 1/10 @ PetSmart in Santa Fe

Singles & one pair of Santa Fe Animal Shelter rabbits will be up for adoption from noon-3pm Sunday, 1/10. Free nail trims for local rabbits, as well. New Mexico House Rabbit Society volunteers will be on hand to answer your questions about…
Jan 9
Bobbi Heller posted a blog post

Jackalope Cats Need Homes

Samee and Baby have lived at Jackalope for many years, but are now in need of forever homes.  They do not need to be placed together.  They are sweet and social.  Please contact Felines & Friends at 316-2281 or of Santa Fe Permit: 16-006See More
Dec 30, 2015
Debra Moody posted events
Dec 28, 2015
Almudena Ortiz Cué posted an event

Puppy and Dog Training Classes Starting in January at CHACOs Hub

January 5, 2016 from 1pm to 2pm
C.H.A.C.O.'s Kinder Pup 1 and Kinder Pup 2 training classes are coming this January!  Below are the details. If interested, sign up now as these tend to book fast. Kinder Pup 1:Your puppy’s proper socialization should start pronto! A well socialized puppy – one that welcomes the interaction of friendly people and dogs is not only a happy pup but also a pleasure to live with. Kinder Pup 1 curriculum supports learning at your dog’s level as well as real-life scenarios because after all, puppies…See More
Dec 22, 2015


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.

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



When an avalanche hits the slopes, let the dogs out

By Sue Manning

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Wylee the border collie can search an avalanche the size of a football field in five or 10 minutes. It would take a probe line of 50 people using poles a couple hours to cover the same ground.

When 30 minutes can mean the difference between life and death for a skier lost on a snowy mountain, most people would bank on the dog.

“The fastest thing is a dog — faster than a beacon or echo,” said Craig Noble, ski patrol and dog supervisor at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort in Olympic Valley, Calif. “We respond to a lot of avalanches that don’t involve any people. But we don’t know that before we leave. We just get there and get the dogs working.”

Speed is crucial in avalanche rescues, with minimal chances of survival if victims are buried for 30 minutes or more.

Noble skis 220 days a year by following the snow from California to Chile and Australia. He also takes yearly classes from the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association, with trainings at Whistler Mountain in British Columbia among other locations. Noble relays what he learns to the ski patrollers at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows (the site of the 1960 winter Olympics) and Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado. He’s brought all of their dog programs up to the same CARDA standard.

Noble also teaches classes for students in the mountain communities. “The kids love the dogs,” he said.

Every dog and handler must recertify as a team every year, Noble said, but before handlers get a dog to work with, they train for a year without one.

“It’s easier to teach animals than people,” he said.

Wylee is 8, but he’s fit and a lean 42 pounds, with plenty of time left in his career, Noble says. Most patrollers use Labradors or golden retrievers, but Noble opted for Wylee partly because he weighs about half what the other breeds weigh. Patrollers have to carry their dogs to search sites in addition to hauling 60-pound backpacks with shovels, probes, headlamps, water and other equipment. The dogs need the lift so they don’t get tired before they start working.

Dustin Brown, a ski patroller at Crested Butte, is going on his second year handling Moose, a Labrador retriever. Moose “comes to life in the snow. He feels free. It’s playtime. There’s a new adventure around every corner,” said Brown.

Other employees on the mountain help with training. Some buy clothes at thrift stores and wear them repeatedly so the fabric absorbs a human scent that’s used to train the dogs. In the event of a search, there won’t be time to get a lost skier’s scent, so the dogs are trained generically.

Dogs are not a requirement for ski patrollers, though. In fact, for every dog team there are six patrollers who go it alone at Squaw Alpine. And one critical part of keeping slopes safe is something dogs don’t participate in: early morning rounds to identify where snow needs to be blasted off the mountain so it doesn’t fall.

During the past five winters, avalanches have killed 145 people in the United States, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, the central archive for U.S. avalanche data. The typical victim was a skilled male skier age 25 to 40. Many deaths take place in the backcountry rather than on groomed slopes.

Data was not available on how often dogs take part in avalanche searches or how often they are able to help locate victims. But Information Center spokesman Spencer Logan said that the dogs don’t save that many people because there aren’t that many to save. A quarter of avalanche victims die from trauma before the snow stops moving and of those buried who weren’t killed by trauma, half die within 20 minutes, he said.

If there is a chance of rescue, though, the dogs can help, Noble said. The dogs also cut search time for remains, giving loved ones closure, Logan said.

Erica Mueller got to see how the Crested Butte dogs work when she volunteered to spend part of an hour in a roomy snow cave waiting to be found, armed with a radio and wearing several layers to stay warm.

“I can’t talk like a survivor,” said Mueller, who now works as Crested Butte’s director of innovations and relations, “but it was definitely a cool way to see how well trained those dogs are.”

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

Local animal news in brief, Jan. 14, 2015

Grant helps with outreach, clinics

The Española Valley Humane Society recently received a nearly $92,000 grant from PetSmart Charities for outreach and spay/neuter in rural New Mexico communities.

The shelter says it’s had success in reducing the intake of animals in Española and now has the resources to…


Posted by Ben Swan on January 14, 2016 at 11:42am

Jackalope Cats Need Homes

Samee and Baby have lived at Jackalope for many years, but are now in need of forever homes.  They do not need to be placed together.  They are sweet and social.  Please contact Felines & Friends at 316-2281 or

City of Santa Fe Permit: 16-006

Posted by Bobbi Heller on December 30, 2015 at 8:23pm

Please help find Cupcake!

An urgent message from Charles Padilla: My Pit Bull girl Cupcake has been missing now a little over two weeks. She is the love of my life and I am totally devastated that I cannot find her.  Her two fur-brothers, Xander and Bentley, miss their big sister that they do not eat…


Posted by Ben Swan on November 13, 2015 at 1:39pm

Lost Fawn colored Pug Puppy

Lost on Sunday, November 1, 2015.  In vicinity of Los Serena, La Mirada, South Wildflower. Calle Escopeta 

Call 505-983-4186

Posted by Jim Maloney on November 1, 2015 at 9:34pm

Lost Dog

Lost female pit bull, very friendly. Lost Tuesday night in the Village of Canada de Los Alamos in Santa Fe County all the way out on Old Santa Fe Trail. If see or found, please call my cell, 505-629-3924. Thank You all.

Posted by Charles on October 28, 2015 at 5:53am

Local animal news in brief, Oct. 1, 2015

Howl it up at the Barkin’ Ball

Tickets are on sale now for the Barkin’ Ball, the only gala in Santa Fe where dogs are encouraged to be a part of the event.

The Santa Fe Animal Shelter’s annual fundraiser is set for 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9, at the Santa Fe Farmers Market Pavilion, 1607 Paseo De Peralta, Santa Fe. This year’s Harvest Gala theme offers a chance to experience Americana at its best, with Yappy Hour cocktails, a plated dinner by Peas n’ Pod…


Posted by Ben Swan on October 1, 2015 at 2:42pm


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