Thursday, February 12, 2009

Meet Jenny, An Owner Surrender

Sometimes you have no choice but to find a new home for your pet. There are many reasons for this. Maybe you are moving, or circumstances have somehow changed for you and you can no longer keep your friend. That was the case with Jenny, formally known as Mitten. I like Harry Potter names so I changed Mitten's name to Jenny Weasley. Her owner and his wife just had a new baby. Since Jenny is 7'8" long and weighs about 55 lbs, they were not comfortable having her there any more. Considering her head is close to the size of my hand, I can see why it would make them uncomfortable. She is large and because of her size alone, she is intimidating. However, as we have handled her, I have discovered she is quite tame. While we have been wary of her, she has been terrified of us, her new surroundings, being jostled around in two different cars, temperature changes, new voices and sounds-all have been thrust on her all at once. And she has not offered to bite even once. In fact, she tries to hide her head down below the loops of her long body. It truly softened my heart toward her. I am going to do everything I can to help her settle down and relax. I don't know yet what my future plans are for her. Her size makes it difficult to re home her. I may be able to use her this summer when I take my snakes out into the public to show people snakes are not so bad. Not that anyone would be allowed to hold her (or that they could. She is huge.) But seeing her and maybe touching her might help people to understand snakes better and soften their hearts, too. I will keep you updated on her progress. She is a learning experience for me and what I learn, I will pass on to you.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Northern Copperhead Snake and the Eastern Milk Snake-One eats the other.

This map shows the range of the Northen Copperhead Snake in Ohio. Note that Columbiana County is included in that range. It is one of the most venomous snakes in the state and should not be taken lightly. If you suspect that you or your pet have been bitten by one, seek medical attention immediatly.

This is what a copperhead looks like. Beautiful in color and markings, it is also strikingly dangerous. It's diet includes small rodents, birds, insects, and lizards.

This is the Eastern Milk Snake. It is harmless to people. It is, unfortunately, also mistaken for the copperhead at times. I put the pictures together so you could see the differences of the snakes. Note that this snake has rings of color while the copperhead has more like splotches of color. The Milk Snake's diet includes small rodents, birds, lizards and other snakes, including venomous ones.

This is a map of the range of the Eastern Milk Snake, which is the entire state of Ohio. Please keep this in mind should you run into a snake that you are not sure about. One is venomous and one isn't. The Milk Snake, you should remember, not only eats rats and mice, saving your home from expensive structural and electrical damage, but also eats other snakes. If you have a Milk Snake around, you probably don't have any venomous snakes in the area.

When I go out into the public this summer, I want to help educate people on this aspect of snakes. Snakes are good for the environment. While many people are afraid of them, keep in mind that they are just as afraid of you. If you come across a snake, simply back slowly away from them. They are not going to chase you. They want away from you, too. They have a right to be here. Don't kill them just because one crosses your path. Try to remember, if you have a snake in your area, you probably do not have mice or rats. I have known wild rats to climb up in bed with you at night and bite you in your own home. Snakes protect you from that.

And always remember, if you find a snake and want it removed in the Columbiana County Ohio area, please call me and I will come and take it away, relocating it out in the wild where it won't bother any one. Snakes are important to the environment and to us. Let's protect them.

I can be reached at 330-385-4380 or my email is