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Q: What do you think about these snakes hurting kids and other animals?

August 25, 2009 | By Hope (Turtle) D. | 7 answers | Expired: 1868 days ago

Hope (Turtle) D.

Should there be more control of these animals? and their owners. Should they have to post a bond? What should be done to owners who let them loose or leave them in abandoned homes?

Readers' Answers (7)
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Ninaof2girls
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Aug 27, 2009

Thumbs up to percysmom and their response. I completely agree. I am also sickened by people who put these wild animals over and above the health and welfare of their own children. It is not only irresponsible but it is entirely child abuse and neglect and I do believe that these people should be punished to the fullest extent of the law when a human life is endangered. Leave wild animals in the wild and prohibit unlicensed people from purchasing them in pet stores or from private breeders.

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Percysmom
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Aug 27, 2009

This issue should not only focus on OUR right to keep the pet of our choice, It should also focus on whether or not it is fair for us to be keeping certain animals as pets. Domestic animals enjoy a relationship with humans that wild ones do not. We may take wonderful care of our wild pets and be well informed on their needs but the animal would most probably still enjoy a better quality of life if allowed to live freely as nature intended. These animals do not bond with humans in the same way that our domestic pets do. Many start out tame when they're young but become more wild once they reach maturity. Dogs may turn on people because of human abuse but snakes turn on people because we're a possible meal and who can blame them! Morally and legally I don't know where we should draw the line on which animals we keep as pets, but I thought large undomesticated ones would be a good place to start. Perhaps people like sheltervt who is an experienced reptile keeper and former rescuer should be able to obtain a special license to keep large snakes. Yes, there will still be animals obtained illegally but at least they will not be readily available in pet stores for someone to purchase on a whim because they think it'd be cool.

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Aug 26, 2009

For me personally, I don"t understand why anyone would want a snake or tarantula for a pet. Different strokes. But I really believe it comes down to personal responsibility. If you are a careless owner you should be held accountable. Problem is, its after the fact. Common sense should prevail, for example, escape proof housing, maybe before the novice owner takes home the snake there should be required classes on the responsibilities on reptile ownership, the consequences of your purchase ( they won't be two foot long forever, they WILL be stronger than you, and don"t let the baby play with them!!) It's just stupid, careless owners. They still can't seem to understand that you don't let dogs in the car on a hot summer day..Some pet owners, what ever their pet of choice, will never learn what it takes to be RESPONSIBLE.

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Linda B.
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Aug 26, 2009

Several good points made. I think a lot of problems stem from people just not thinking before they commit. Even with dogs and cats, people end up abandoning them because they bark or pee on the floor. And I've known of people who buy snakes and gaters and then are "surprised" when they grow and are no longer manageable.

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Sheltervt
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Aug 26, 2009

Percysmom, the thing is, as responsible reptile keepers, we are aware of the inherent risk in keeping our chosen pets. Yes, when a constricting snake (such as boas and pythons) are of a species that can grow quite large, there are special accomodations that must be made. And we make them... with custom built, escape proof habitats running into thousands of dollars, extra safety precautions in handling and feeding, and other considerations. Should I be dinied my chosen pets because someone else cannot properly care for theirs? If that is your belief, then the legislation should be universal, and apply to owners of EVERY species. Every day, there is another eport of a dog attack on the news or in the papers... does that mean that no one should own dogs? Some people are especially allergic to the venom of common tarantula species kept as pets... does that mean that no one can own pet arachnids? How far do you take these proposed laws prohibiting ownership? Is it OK to take my snakes away from me (30+ years of snake ownership, and not ONE escape or dangerous incident)? If so, an enormous source of education and entertainment is lost, as I provide educational outreach in local museums and at events about reptile and amphibian species, their captive care and management, native habitat conservation, and endangered species. If you take away the rights of all to posess these animals, not only are toes stepped on, but valuable resources are lost. You also run the risk of creating an unregulated black market in these proposed banned species, which could have nightmarish consequences of it's own.

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Percysmom
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Aug 25, 2009

Personally, I believe that not every animal should be kept as a pet. There most certainly is a difference between domesticated animals and ones that are still considered to be wild. I do not believe that dogs and cats fall into the same category as tigers, wolves etc. Any snake that can grow to a size big enough to eat children or strangle adult humans should not be legal as pets. The keeping of those animals should be reserved for zoos or knowledgeable rescue groups. At least if we ban the selling of large snake breeds there would be less of them to rehome when they outgrow people's homes and lives. Yes, there would still be those who acquire them illegally. It is an unfortunate reality. We often hear of people who own tigers, bears and other wild animals illegally. Ultimately those animals end up in a zoo or sanctuary when they are too big for their owners to care for. I think large snakes are no different. I saw a show on Animal Planet once where zoo handlers said that when snakes get over a certain size they must have more than one person present to handle them. This way if the snake begins to constrict on the handler there is someone to help. That does not sound like a pet for the average pet owner to me.

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Sheltervt
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Aug 25, 2009

As a responsible owner of dozens of reptiles, a former reptiler rescue operator, AND a former Animal Control employee, I am well aware of problems with improperly kept captive reptiles. However, I am also aware of problems with improperly kept dogs and cats. The way to solve issues with improper husbandry of ANY species is through education, not legislation. The biggest part of the cause of animal care issues is the widespread availability of these animals to anyone with money in their pockets. A good thing for people who know what they're doing and can povide proper care, but a bad thing when some clown buys one on implulse with no inkling on how to care for it properly. Doesn't really matter if we're talking about dogs, cats, tigers, wolves, or snakes, the issues surrounding all species are the same. Passing laws prohibiting or restricting ownership don't work, as the low quality owners ignore or circumvent the laws, anyway, and the only ones really affected are those who know what they're doing in the first place.

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