Long snake is only a danger to rodents, expert says


Terrebonne Parish deputy sheriffs say they’ve had calls recently from people who thought they’d seen a boa or python on the loose in Houma. But an expert says it’s a nonvenemous rat snake and can help control rodents.

The Courier reported that Department of Wildlife and Fisheries zoologist Beau Gregory checked out a photograph of the 5- or 6-foot-long snake Friday.

Michael Levay of Houma says he took the picture in late April, then knocked the critter off his back fence with a shovel, drove around looking for it and warned neighbors about it.

Gregory says rat snakes can grow more than 6 feet long, can be found in cities and spend a lot of time in trees — but are no danger to people.

Official: Shiny dog bowl sparks a house fire in California


A Northern California couple might be able to blame this one on the dog.

Authorities say sun refracted off the dog’s shiny water bowl and ignited a fire at Terry and Shay Weisbrich’s Santa Rosa home last Wednesday.

The fire was put out quickly, but it left a hole in the siding.

The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa reported that a fire department engineer helped discover the dog bowl’s role in the fire.

Rene Torres returned the bowl to its original position during his investigation of the fire’s cause. He found that it concentrated light right on the area of the home that was charred.

The Press Democrat says the couple’s dog, Toby, had a replacement bowl by the evening.

2 pounds of loose skin removed from slimmed-down dog


Obie, a formerly obese dachshund, is recovering after surgery at an Oregon veterinary clinic that removed 21/2 pounds of loose skin.

Owner Nora Vanatta told KGW the surgery last week at the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin went well.

The loose skin was dragging after the dog lost 40 pounds in eight months while on a diet.

Obie had weighed 77 pounds.

He was down to 37 pounds before the surgery.

He now weighs about 35 pounds, and Vanatta wants him to lose about 5 more.

Obie fans have been following his weight loss on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BiggestLoserDoxieEdition.

Associated Press

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