We continue to be astounded by the way people act when it comes to pets.
In particular, the cases where someone is no longer interested or decides they can’t take care of the animal.
For some reason that defies logic, these owners think that the best way to deal with the situation is to simply drop off the animal in the nearest woods or on the side of a road far away from home.
That is apparently the case in the recent discovery of exotic ball pythons showing up at the sewage treatment plant in Montague and then later in the Highland Park area of Greenfield. Whoever owned these snakes, we suppose, made the decision that these pets, a native of Africa, were something that could be simply discarded, with no consideration for the fact that these animals cannot possibly survive at this latitude.
This is the third time within a month that a non-native species of snake has been discovered in the area. The first snake, also a python, was found near the bike path close to the treatment plant on Greenfield Road.
This is animal cruelty, plain and simple.
Letting them loose in our part of the country, said the owner of Black Jungle Terrarium Supply, a Turners Falls business that deals in animals like these snakes, is a death sentence.
The climate isn’t hospitable to these creatures and as far as food goes, they’re going to have a hard time finding the right-sized rodents. This all translates into either death by starvation or freezing to death come winter.
And there’s always a chance that the snake will run into someone who will take it as a threat and kill it.
It’s no way to treat an animal, even if you’re not a fan of snakes.
And there are much better ways to deal with getting rid of a pet like a snake. As suggested in The Recorder story, advertising to find the pet a new home is a better and more humane approach.
And if that’s not enough motivation to think, consider this: If we lived in a more comfortable place for these kinds of snakes, there’s a good a chance these reptiles would thrive — to the detriment of any number of native species. Just look at what’s taking place in Florida where pet owners have dumped pythons and boa constrictors into the wild ... they’ve taken over the Everglades.
The problem doesn’t start with the snakes or any other pet treated this way, it’s with the people — who should be ashamed of themselves.