Recently there have been a lot of people concerned that dogs and cats that are offered for free on online sites are being used for malicious purposes.
Everyone seems to know of people using free dogs as “bait dogs” used to train their fighting dogs, but there are others out there scouting for free pets to use as reptile food.
Reptiles are creatures who have to eat, too, but being carnivores and eating other animals, they’re not always as “nice” or cuddly as a cat or dog to have around.
Some groups have claimed that there are reptile owners who will pick up not just free rats and rabbits but puppies and kittens to feed to their large snakes.
This has been proven on several occasions, as a handful of snake owners have posted videos or photos of their snakes killing and eating puppies and kittens. To some people, it doesn’t matter whether the food is a cricket, a fish, a mouse or a puppy, but there are many people for whom this practice is absolutely abominable.
It’s especially worrisome when someone gives away a puppy or kitten for free, expecting it to be used as a pet with a loving home, when really it could be going to a snake for a meal.
“If people are giving away an animal as a domestic, as a pet, that’s what they expect,” Laura Bamberger, founder of the animal sanctuary the Tri-State Noah Project, told Fox. “They want it to go to a loving home, not to be used as food or as bait.”
One way to avoid this fate is to require an adoption fee for the animals you advertise online and to make sure to find out a little bit about the person who wants to get a pet from you.
Still, there are many reptile owners who would never feed anything like that to their reptiles, saying that the risk of injury to their expensive scaled pets is just too high. They admit that there is a small group of reptile enthusiasts who may scan free ads for puppies and kittens but the majority of responsible reptile owners do not and will not.
Part of the reason this topic is so difficult is because of the way snakes and other reptiles eat their prey. Except in the case of some large lizards, it’s not usually quick, and it’s definitely not painless. Pythons eat their prey by constricting it and cutting off blood and oxygen flow until the animal is dead.
That’s also what makes this video so hard to watch. It opens on a python coiled around a medium-sized black dog. There’s a white dog nearby who clearly understands that the snake is bad news, and lunges at it from time to time while barking, but there’s little he can do to help his friend.
Some men come over and use poles to pry the huge snake off the dog, but even once the python is uncoiled the dog is in bad shape, no doubt suffering the effects of being nearly choked to death.
Thankfully, at some point a man flips the dog onto its feet and it’s able to stumble away, but the snake is still latched on. Eventually it releases its hold and slithers away, deprived of its potential meal.
So, the lesson for the day is that if you don’t want your dog to be eaten by snakes, don’t take it somewhere where that’s a possibility, and make sure if you offer pets online that you charge a rehoming fee and do your homework to ensure they’re going to a good home.
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