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Posted by W von Papinešu on September 11, 2002 at 18:59:41:
RECORD SEARCHLIGHT (Redding, California) 07 September 02 City mulls banning constrictor snake pets (Jim Schultz)
Red Bluff: The city of Red Bluff may soon put the squeeze on the owners of boa constrictors and pythons.
And a 17-foot python named Fluffy is the cause of it all.
She should have stayed put.
The Red Bluff Planning Commission will be asked Tuesday whether it wants to amend a city ordinance to prohibit the ownership of large constricting snakes within the city's limits.
In a joint letter to commissioners from Community Development Director Charles Hayden and Community Development Officer John Brewer, they note that a Red Bluff woman, Maxine McGlynn, is seeking an amendment to city code to prohibit the possession of exotic snakes.
Her concerns were triggered by published reports that focused on a 17-foot python that had recently escaped from its cage at a Lincoln Street home.
That approximately 100-pound snake, Fluffy, was found under the house the day after it escaped and returned to its cage.
Still, McGlynn, who owns rentals in the area, said she fears for the safety of her tenants.
"Some of my rentals in the area have basements and crawl spaces and many of the families who rent from me have young children," she wrote in a letter to Brewer. "What if it were to sneak into a basement, hide for several days and attack a child playing there?"
If an outright ban is not possible, perhaps licensing requirements or safety training could be imposed on the owners of exotic snakes, she suggested.
Mike Ferrell, Fluffy's owner, could not be reached Friday for comment.
In their joint report, Hayden and Brewer said the city has an ordinance that prohibits the keeping of "ferocious beasts" and venomous snakes.
But City Attorney John Kenny issued a written opinion saying he does not believe boa constrictors and pythons fall into that category, adding that the ordinance could be amended to include constricting snakes longer than four feet.
Should commissioners decide to pursue such an amendment, it would be the focus of public hearings before the commission and City Council before its adoption.