• October 25, 2014

Killeen animal advisory committee cleaning up misuse of ‘poisonous’ reptiles

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Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 4:19 pm, Wed Feb 19, 2014.

Killeen’s animal advisory committee is proposing an amendment that would tighten up an existing ordinance prohibiting ownership of venomous snakes in the city.

Holli Clements, assistant city attorney and board member, said the current ordinance states owning venomous snakes are prohibited. However, in several places in the body of the ordinance, they are referred to as “poisonous” snakes.

By definition, venomous reptiles inject toxins into their prey while poisonous reptiles are toxic to consume or touch.

Councilman Jonathan Okray, committee chairman, said the board is proposing the amendment in an effort to “clean up” the language of the ordinance and add the phrase “including venomous snakes.”

Clements said the board began examining the ordinance when residents requested the ordinance be made broader to allow for venomous snakes.

“We (the committee) looked at it and the common belief was that the prohibitions were good,” she said. “We decided that we even wanted to strengthen them a little.”

Okray said having a venomous snake could propose problems from several different standpoints.

“It’s a hazard if the fire department, EMS or police have to enter someone’s home or apartment and are unaware that there’s a rattlesnake or some other type of venomous snake in there,” he said. “It could also pose a threat to the people living in the house with it if it gets out of its confinement, or even someone living nearby if it escapes its confinement and gets out of the house.”

Okray said local health institutions don’t have the anti-venom needed to combat the toxins if a person encounters a venomous snake, and that’s a chance the city “doesn’t want to take.”

Clements said there were three people present at the committee meeting requesting the city allow venomous snakes.

The ordinance also was amended to prohibit any reptile that will grow to exceed 6 feet in length.

The City Council still has to vote on the proposed amendment.

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Welcome to the discussion.

2 comments:

  • Baylor posted at 6:33 pm on Tue, Sep 24, 2013.

    Baylor Posts: 167

    Killeen is wild enough without snake people in the neighborhood.

     
  • Eliza posted at 7:48 am on Tue, Sep 24, 2013.

    Eliza Posts: 830

    @ “It’s a hazard if the fire department, EMS or police have to enter someone’s home or apartment and are unaware that there’s a rattlesnake or some other type of venomous snake in there,” he said.
    “It could also pose a threat to the people living in the house with it if it gets out of its confinement, or even someone living nearby if it escapes its confinement and gets out of the house.”
    -------------------------

    I agree with what Councilman Okray has stated above, for all the reasons stated.
    Why should one of our local care givers or 1st responders safety, be put at risk if they have to enter a citizens residence (and I have known of a couple of officers who were placed in this jeopardy)? Or a child in the neighborhood or domesticated pet who is in its yard, in case one of these reptiles got away from its owner.

    There is enough of a danger in the large snakes that persons are allowed to have in their homes (an example is the two little brothers a few months ago ( 4&6 ) who were killed while asleep, by a large snake when it got out of its case that was supposedly contained in the pet shop below their apt..
    Why should the majority have to be in fear of something just because a very, very few feel the need to own something that could possibly be a danger to all.

    In our own neighborhood, a neighbor had one of the large pythons which got away from him (because he allowed it to crawl around in his home, he didn't discover it missing until he had to go to work one day and put the neighbors on alert that if it was seem, not to harm it, just call him. He eventually found it in his attic.
    But why should the majority have to live even for a few hours in fear of something, just because the very few insist on having something of a poisonous nature living among the rest of us inside the city. Even if its been promised by an owner that they will be kept inside their own property. That doesn't always happen.


     

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