Tuesday, July 14, 2009

It Can, And It Does

I’m going to take a little vacation from my happy, fun, Mommy blog today and get something that’s been bothering me off my chest.

Maybe you heard about a little girl in Florida who was killed by the family’s “pet” snake about 10 days ago. Wait, let me clarify. It was the mother’s live-in-boyfriend’s 8-foot, 5-inch python.

After hearing that story on the news, I was very angry. Angry at the stupidity it takes to allow your child to be killed by your “pet.” Thankfully, charges will probably be filed, but not for neglect. Charges for not having a $100 permit for the animal. And maybe for not having a lock on its enclosure.

First, let me say that I don’t believe that snakes are pets. Go ahead, send the nasty emails if you want. But I believe a pet is something that is capable of returning affection. And a snake is not. It’s a free country, so go ahead and have whatever kind of animal that is legal for you to own. But don’t call it a pet.

Second, keeping a creature in your home that you know is capable of killing a grown man is just plain crazy. Especially if you have kids.

Third, keeping an animal that can kill a grown man that also escapes its enclosure is insane.

I can’t even imagine what that mother is going through after losing her child to the “family pet”. I know what it is like to have to get rid of your pet for the safety of your child. And let me tell you something; it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, but I’d do it every day of my life if it meant my child would be safe.

I cannot even imagine the fear and pain that 2 year-old girl felt as her family’s “pet” was in the process of squeezing the life from her. I am only comforted to know that the arms that now hold her are much, much more gentle.

No matter what else happens with the mother/her boyfriend legally, they will both suffer the rest of their lives knowing they voluntarily brought that danger into their home. Try as you might, I don’t think blame can be placed on the animal. It’s an animal. It followed its instinct. That’s what it does. That’s why it’s supposed to stay locked in a cage. Is it worth not having the proper equipment to contain it? Better yet, is it worth keeping an animal like that at all?

There are lots of things in life that are dangerous. But we must make common sense choices that keep our families safe.

Sure, it’s legal to keep lots of things that can be harmful. Regular household cleaners are dangerous. But you put them away so your kids can’t get to them. Scissors can be dangerous too, but how do you think “Don’t run with the scissors!!!!” got started? Precautions. (Accidents will happen, no matter how many precautions you take.) Common sense. Care about the safety of others. A view of reality that says, “Yes, it can happen to me.”

It reminds me of the scripture that says, “’Everything is permissible’ – but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’ - but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” 1 Corinthians 10:23-24

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  1. I can't imagine why anyone would want a snake anyway! I would go for "pet" mice before I would go for a "pet" snake. As far as I'm concerned they are something to see, maybe touch, at the zoo, and smash anywhere else you see them!

  2. I agree with every sentence. Well said, my friend.