"Dangerous" Snakes Confiscated from NY Pet Shop. - FaunaClassifieds
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Herps In The News Local or national articles where reptiles or amphibians have made it into the news media. Please cite sources.

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Old 09-10-2006, 01:14 AM   #1
Goanna
"Dangerous" Snakes Confiscated from NY Pet Shop.

I was watching a news clip from last night and a segment came up about a Pet shop in Shirley, NY.

First off, I thought Burms were still legal in NY other then in the 5 boroughs? I thought just Retics, Condas, and Rocks were banned. Second, I never knew Black Racers were "Very very dangerous snakes!" Yeah, they are fast little SOB's but dangerous?

Here is a link to the article.
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/ne...,1378645.story

Here's to NYC Laws, where ball pythons, sand boas, and certain colubrids are considered "dangerous animals".

At least the rest of the state still get's some (I say that lightly) freedom as to what they can keep.
 
Old 09-10-2006, 01:33 AM   #2
hhmoore
Yup - burms are illegal in NYS. Amethystines, too, believe it or not. But, to the best of my knowledge, black racers are neither illegal or "very, very" dangerous. (I am frequently tempted to call the various people advertising burms, retics, nile & water monitors, etc in the Want Ad Digest, just to give them a hard time, lol)
 
Old 09-10-2006, 01:36 AM   #3
Goanna
Quote:
Originally Posted by hhmoore
Yup - burms are illegal in NYS. Amethystines, too, believe it or not. But, to the best of my knowledge, black racers are neither illegal or "very, very" dangerous. (I am frequently tempted to call the various people advertising burms, retics, nile & water monitors, etc in the Want Ad Digest, just to give them a hard time, lol)
Ahh, I didnt realize burms were banned statewide. Last time I was at White Plains I thought I saw them there, but it's been a year or more since I was there I think.

As for those damn black racers. Only thing worse is a garter snake, now those will kill you .

The only real reason I could think Black Racers could be considered illegal is that they are a native species.

EDIT: Oh God the video is even better then that article. I just had to rewind it to hear this part again. This is a direct quote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CBS News at 11:00, Sep 9 2006
Animal Control officials in Suffolk County say a pet shop owner was hiding a slithering secret. They siezed more then a dozen illegal snakes at a store in Shirley. Among them 2 Burmese Pythons (one 10 feet long), the others were Black Racer Snakes. Officials say they weren't venomous, but all of the snakes were considered dangerous and they can kill!
Now that is misinformation at it's best. Yeah, if they just confiscated burms or other large pythons they (unfortunatly) can get away with saying that, but come on, do some research before publically announcing this crap.
 
Old 09-12-2006, 04:14 AM   #4
Clay Davenport
Since that link will die in the near future, I'll add the full text of the article.
Also, here's the URL to the Suffolk Co. SPCA for anyone who might want to enlighten Roy Gross as to his ineptitude and being a dumbass in general.
http://www.suffolkspca.org/


Exotic snakes attract officials
BY EMERSON CLARRIDGE
Newsday Staff Writer

September 9, 2006, 10:27 PM EDT

For Michael Kotsonis, the Burmese python coiled in its cage at the front of his Shirley pet store was something of a slithery promotional tool.

The python and 18 smaller snakes he had kept inside the shop for several months were an effective, if not entirely legal, way to draw customers, he said.

Kids would often stop by to have a photo taken with the snakes, which Kotsonis said were only on display and not for sale.

On Friday night, though, Suffolk authorities stepped in and confiscated 19 snakes, most of them babies, in a raid, the latest in a series of seizures of illegal exotic animals in the region. Two Burmese pythons and 17 black racers were taken from the store, officials said.

"The black racers are very, very dangerous snakes," said Roy Gross, a spokesman with the Suffolk Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Kotsonis was bitten by one of the snakes as he assisted officers, he said. He said the snake's bite can sometimes produce a serious infection.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation and the SPCA are continuing to investigate. No charges have been filed but Kotsonis paid a $250 fine.

While none of the snakes seized on Friday are venomous, pythons are dangerous because they constrict and strangle their prey. The length of the pythons was in dispute; Kotsonis said they were between 12 and 14 feet while the SPCA officials said they were between six and ten feet.

Kotsonis, 25, who took over the store in March when the prior owner died, disputed that assessment Saturday, saying the snakes were harmless.

He said he had no reservations about letting customers and his own 3-year-old daughter handle the largest serpent, "because it was so friendly." Kotsonis also denied that the snakes were for sale, saying that each glass case was marked for display only. But Gross said that it was illegal to either own or sell the snakes taken Friday.

Saturday, Kotsonis sat outside his store, which is next to a storefront church in a strip mall, appearing bewildered at the commotion. He said the raid had not deterred customers.

"It's kind of good for advertising," he said of the uptick in business.. Curious customers had been stopping by all morning, he said.

The snakes, meanwhile, were taken to a zoo outside New York, where Gross said they would remain.
 
Old 09-12-2006, 02:15 PM   #5
Ron Mertz
Not sure if I did this right, but I tried sending Mr. Gross an e-mail telling him what I think.
It went something like this:
I just got finished reading Mr.Gross' quote about how Black Racers are a "very, very dangerous" animal. Does this guy know ANYTHING about reptiles, or does he just like to spread propaganda? The reptile industry has enough problems with ignorant people making even more ignorant comments, pertaining to things they obviously know nothing about; we don't need Mr. Gross spewing his lies to the general public or media. Black Racers are only "very, very dangerous" if you are a RODENT!!!!
Please don't open your mouth and talk about things, unless you know what you're talking about.
On the oater hand, Mr. Gross may have a promising future in politics. After all, he appears to have a good working knowledge of the propaganda machine.
Try telling the truth, instead of jumping on the "Snakes on a Plane" bandwagon.
-Ron Mertz
 
Old 10-12-2006, 10:13 PM   #6
atrox56
I rarely reply to comments made by ignorant people but when a government official makes such a stupid statement as Mr. Gross made I simply had to e-mail him and voice my openion. Most herpers work hard to correct all of the misinformation out there and with one stupid statement it all goes to H#@$ !

In New York it is required that you pass an ignorance test before you are hired. Mr. Gross passed with flying colors. Way to go fool!
 
Old 10-13-2006, 01:11 PM   #7
Rattlesnake
Ron
I also sent an email to him. Can't wait to see if the moron will reply to it.
 
Old 10-13-2006, 01:42 PM   #8
Mister Internet
This is what I wrote:

To Whom it may Concern,

Imagine my surprise to read the following article:

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/ne...,1378645.story

Hey, illegal snakes confiscated... that's a good thing, right? Well, personal feelings on the asinine laws of NY regarding herps aside, yes, the law should be upheld. However, when I read the following statement by your spokesman:

-------------
"The black racers are very, very dangerous snakes," said Roy Gross, a spokesman with the Suffolk Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Kotsonis was bitten by one of the snakes as he assisted officers, he said. He said the snake's bite can sometimes produce a serious infection.
-------------

This is disingenuous at best, and outright lies and propoganda at worst. Black racers are members of the all but harmless Colubrid family, possessing NO venom, and no appreciable constricting capabilities with respect to humans. They are "very, very dangerous" to no one and nothing, except small rodents, amphibians, and fish. The bite of a kitten can produce a severe infection as well, but this doesn't prevent you from promoting their adoption, does it? Try some honesty... or education. If Mr. Gross made these statements out of ignorance, then all I can say is that he just should not speak about reptiles anymore, as it's obvious he knows next to nothing. A few books that aren't propaganda of the PETA or HSA would go a long was towards ACTUAL knowledge on the subject. If these statements, however, were made with the knowledge that they were prima facie FALSE... then what can I say except shame on you, Mr. Gross. Instead of breeding love and appreciation for animals as you are sworn to do, you have successfully spread more outright lies regarding animals that are already misunderstood.

Your hypocritical tribute to Steve Irwin on your page rings quite hollow now... if Steve would have heard the lies you promoted about a HARMLESS snake, it would have broken his heart.

I don't expect a reply, but I do expect you to do the right thing for the animals you claim to love.
 
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