Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Water and Habitats

I work hard to keep my snakes well taken care of and happy. One of my biggest worries is that they have enough fresh water and room to stretch out. Stretching out is important so they can relax.
I change their water every other day. As you can see, snakes drink water like any other animal.
Above you can see Sirrius all stretched out, with his long skinny tail reaching back his habitat and the things he likes to climb on. If your snake habitat is too small they can become stressed and be more apted to bite and stretch out like they should to relax. Keep that in mind as you try to decide about your snakes living quarters.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dinner Time for Sirrius

These are rat pinkies, born yesterday. I raise my own snake food because they are $6 each at the local pet store. I have four snakes and it is cheaper for me to grow my own. It isn't hard when they are like this. But look out if they get their hair and open their eyes. They become what are called rat pups and are cute as hell. It just makes it harder to view them as snake food.
Today is the day I feed Sirrius Black, my Black Pine Snake. He will eat all three of those pinkies in five minutes. I do not feed him in his house. I remove him and use a cardboard box, which keeps him from being tank aggressive. If your snake strikes at you or actually bites you, stop feeding him in his cage because he thinks your hand is food. They are not hard to train. I also use a latex glove when I handle the food items so that if I do get tagged, the snake lets go. They do not like the taste of latex.

Sirrius knows that it is dinner. He wastes no time in going after his prey. Pinkies he can just swallow live because they are too weak to struggle. If this were a mouse, he would have wrapped it up and killed it first. Snakes move with lightening quick speed. (I feed all but pinkies frozen-thawed (f/t) so no injuries occur to the snake)
Once he gets the pinky positioned properly, he uses the muscles in his throat to swallow it whole. Yes they do make squeaky noises as they are going down. This is not for softies to watch. That is another reason to use f/t.

Rat pinkies are best because they provide excellent nutrition. It helps young snakes like Sirrius to grow bigger and stronger. Doesn't he look like a mighty Cobra!! LOL...
Do not handle snakes for minimum of 48 hours after they have fed. They can regurgitate and that can kill them. (Say you fed at 3 pm Friday- you can't handle them until Sunday at 3pm.)

Dinner Time!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A letter to the Editor of the East Liverpool Review

This is a copy of a letter to the Editor of the East Liverpool Review. I am a huge supporter of adopting a pet and saving a life, whether it be dogs, cats, snakes, horses, what ever. I have six dogs, two of which were strays. I have put a copy of it on my blog for you to read. If you are looking for a great local charity, please keep them in mind. Pictured above are my kids. Zander, Jeff, Lexi, Buster, my big baby Neecha, and last, my little baby, Snoopy.

Dear Editor:
No doubt if you watch television, this holiday season you have seen the commercial for abandoned shelter animals featuring Sarah McLaughlin on behalf of the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). The message is heart wrenching and compelling. Certainly, the ASPCA is a worthy cause and their efforts in the area of animal welfare, important.
But please, consider this: unwanted and neglected pets need your help right here in Columbiana County. At least donate a portion of the funds you set aside for animal welfare to local organizations. I can speak to the needs and activities of one local non-profit animal welfare organization, the Humane Society of Columbiana County.
In 2008, two trained, court-appointed volunteer humane agents responded to over 400 concerns about animal cruelty and neglect over the 532 square miles of Columbiana County. Over 300 cats and dogs have been cared for by volunteers who currently maintain a minimum of two shifts, seven days per week at our R.O.C.C. (Reduce Overpopulation of Cats and Canines) and Rescue Center located at 1825 S. Lincoln Ave., Salem. The Humane Society is not funded by any local government agency nor any national animal welfare organization. Total programming and operations, including a mortgage, are supported by public donations. Should donations cease, so too will the services of the Humane Society.
I am not recommending that you stop supporting organizations like the ASPCA, but I am asking you to look out your windows as you drive your car. We all know there is great need right in our own backyard. Help us at the Humane Society help the animals in need right here in Columbiana County, first. If you are fortunate enough to afford more, then spread the love around to other parts of the country and beyond.
For more information about the Humane Society of Columbiana County, call 330-332-2600. Doors are open and visitors encouraged and welcome Tuesday-Friday 1-5 p.m. and Saturday10 a.m. to noon. Other times are available by appointment.
Adoptable pets can also be viewed at http://www.petfinder.com/.
And remember, neuter and spay is the only way to stop pet overpopulation.
Jenny Pike
president, Humane Society of Columbiana County