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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll post it here.
Animal Protection of New Mexico
Animal Shelter Tips Blog
All Creatures Memorials
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
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
“Snake,” Laurie whispered over the phone, trying to catch her breath. “Snake in the pond!”
Knowing how Laurie felt about snakes and that we had baby koi in said pond, I did a U-turn and zoomed home.
She continued. “There was a little garter snake in the pond and I got him out, but when I bent down to scoop him up, I looked up and there was a big bull snake three feet from my head! And it was trying to get in the pond!”
Not a crisis in the sense of should we attack North Korea, but knowing how Laurie felt about snakes, I knew I would have to screw my courage to the sticking point and prepare for snake battles.
Important Note: No snakes were harmed during this story!
Laurie and I seem to be snake attractors. We’ve had rattlesnakes in the garage and portal and a red racer caught in the tomato netting, (cut out and saved with surgical precision by my daughter Sully as I “assisted.”). We’ve had more bull snakes then I care to count. My favorite encounter was a bull snake in the house that we couldn’t find. After seeing a tail slink into a gap in the kitchen wall, we had torn apart the wall under the sink trying to find it. Laurie finally gave up looking and as she leaned against a bannister ready to call us off, I noted that the snake was wrapped around the bannister, it’s head inches away from her. I said something to the effect of, “Laurie, don’t look now … .” But then she saw it and sprinted down the hallway.
All harmless encounters, but this was different. A few weeks earlier I had caught a bull snake in our pond post-swallowing a baby koi. It slithered away before I could do anything. Sensing easy meals, it was back.
Unlike rattlesnakes who are ambushers, bull snakes (Pituophis catenifer sayi) are hunters. They seek out prey; diving into burrows and apparently into ponds and streams. Bull snakes are constrictors. A note: If I was a rabbit, I don’t know which would be worse, the venom of a rattler or being crushed to death by a bull snake: A rabbit existential question.
It doesn’t help that bull snakes get big, easily up to 5 feet long with some specimens recorded nearly 8 feet long. (God help us all!)
Normally bull snakes are relatively passive. They are slow moving and easy to distinguish from rattlers. They don’t have the flat triangular head and they don’t have a rattle. They tend to be shinier then rattlesnakes who are dusky. Of course, it takes more than a nano-second to observe the differences and most people would just rather get the hell out of dodge upon seeing any snake. The cool-amazing thing about bull snakes is that they imitate rattlers, they coil and vibrate their tail, especially in grass — making a sound similar to rattling.
By the time I got home, Laurie had scared the snake away. We reconnoitered, noting that all the new baby Koi were safe. We decided to cover the little pond with burlap to keep the snakes out. And while we were doing that … Laurie reached to grab a rock to weigh down the burlap and immediately yelped. There, a foot away was our bull snake, coiled inside a Spanish bayonet waiting for us to leave so he could resume his (or her) fish dinner.
As all you husbands and partners out there know, I had only one choice in this situation. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t particular keen about snakes, it was my job now to physically remove it. I snuck up behind it and gently grabbed it and slid my hand to its head. (I should mention here how much I love gloves!) It was docile, so I was able to pick it up and walk it through our house and out the door.
I should note here that our dogs, Nellie and Tank, were completely oblivious the entire time. As I slowly walked down the hall, the snake’s head brushed against Nellie and she didn’t even notice. So much for being the highly alert guard-type dog.
As I carried the snake down our road to an arroyo, I kept chanting, “bull snakes are our friends!” And they are. They are a crucial part of the eco-system here in Santa Fe. I just wish they would stay away from seafood.
For more writings by Hersch Wilson on dogs, firefighters and life go to herschwilson.com. Contact him at email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
Santafescoop.com 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 email@example.com to assure acceptance. Sorry of the inconvenience.
Pacheco Park hosts dog party
Businesses at Pacheco Park are hosting a progressive dinner, showroom walk and dog party to support the local animal shelter.
More than 20 businesses at the Design District, 1512 Pacheco St., are taking part in the second annual Bark at the Park event. It will be held 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21.
Park merchants will be offering appetizers for both humans and dogs and a chance to enter individual raffles at each…Continue
Posted by Ben Swan on September 21, 2017 at 10:43am
I was away from home on May 9, when we had that nasty storm. When my dogsitter arrived in the morning, my red heeler Sage in her panic had tried to dig a hole through my living room door and finally pried open the panel on the dog door, and climbed over or pushed through the 5 ft high fence. When I returned the next day, I started the search.
I found really good suggestions for finding and approaching a lost dog on MissingPetPartnership.com. I have contacted the shelters and vets,…Continue
Posted by Peggy Powers on July 21, 2017 at 10:57am
Police: Owners can be cited for leaving pets in hot cars
Dozens of reports of dogs left in hot cars this summer have prompted the Santa Fe Police Department to remind people the practice is dangerous and illegal.
Hundreds of pets die each year from heat exhaustion because they are left in parked vehicles, said spokesman Greg Gurule of the Santa Fe Police Department. He said the city’s Animal Services Division averages 300 calls for welfare checks for…Continue
Posted by Ben Swan on July 20, 2017 at 9:53am
When searching for a pet sitter for your fur baby and your peace of mind consider to check this and Google reviews for local professional pet sitting companies.Continue
Posted by Pet Angel Irina on July 5, 2017 at 4:42pm
Shelter, brewery host brew-naming contest
Name a new brew and get two VIP tickets to the Santa Fe animal shelter’s summer music festival.
The shelter and the Santa Fe Brewing Co., are brewing a small batch of American ale in connection with Dog Days of Summer, the June 4 event that features an evening of musical entertainment. A name will be chosen from the list of submissions on May 26 and the winner will receive two VIP tickets to the event. Submit a name at…Continue
Posted by Ben Swan on May 18, 2017 at 10:13am