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Cottonwood Heights man would rather move than give up snakes

Posted: April 27th, 2013, 4:28 pm
by Herpetologist115 ... io_8g.cspx
Look at what is happening to this guy. Takes good care of his snakes and yet they want them gone. I especially like the part where they say they are trying to protect children. :roll: People are so ignorant. Many of those snakes cost around 10,000 dollars he said. Our hobby is not understood. They say he is breaking the one snake and five rats rule. After looking at the law there is no five rat one snake limit. It is just something that the city ordinance pulled out of nowhere.

8.03.120 - Exotic animal permit.
It is unlawful for any person to own or keep an exotic animal without a permit. Unless prohibited by zoning or other ordinances or laws, any person, over the age of eighteen years of age, may obtain an exotic animal permit upon:

Demonstrating sufficient knowledge of the species to provide adequate care;

Presenting proof of adequate caging appropriate for the species;

Presenting proof that the animal poses no threat to the health and safety of the community in the event that the animal should escape. The director may consult with a review board comprising federal, state and local public health authorities in considering a request for an exotic animal permit; and

Presenting proof of required, if any, state or federal permits.

For the purpose of this section, to demonstrate "sufficient knowledge" of a species, a person must show that he/she has adequate knowledge of a species to provide for its basic needs to maintain the animal's health and welfare. The director may consider the person's experience, education, apprenticeship or by examination administered by the division when determining that a person has sufficient knowledge of a species.

See nothing about only having one snake. What are your opinions on this?

Re: Cottonwood Heights man would rather move than give up sn

Posted: April 27th, 2013, 4:55 pm
by Daryl Eby
Sorry he has to go through this. I'm generally opposed to ordinances like this one. However, if the ordinance was in place before he moved in, he should have done his research and either worked out an exception or moved elsewhere.

What you posted was the regulation. While it does not mention a "five rat one snake limit", such a limit might be specified on the permit itself.

Re: Cottonwood Heights man would rather move than give up sn

Posted: April 29th, 2013, 4:44 pm
by Herpetologist115
That's true. He should have applied for a permit. More his fault than anybody else's.

Re: Cottonwood Heights man would rather move than give up sn

Posted: May 9th, 2013, 7:37 am
by Jimi
I'm not really attending to the details of this case but the city appears to have relented (local public opinion was universally "You've got to be kidding - get off this guy's back!"). However in a follow-up, one of the local papers published this letter to the editor. The few comments online so far are pretty much like the earlier sentiments, which is encouraging.

The Cottonwood Heights community is right to be concerned about a resident harboring nearly 30 boa constrictors ("Exotic snake collector keeps his pets — for now," May 3). Like all large constrictor snakes, boa constrictors are capable of killing an adult human — just ask the family of a 34-year-old Nebraska man who was strangled by his pet boa constrictor in 2010. Pythons and boa constrictors have killed a dozen people nationwide, including four children, since 1990. Many others have suffered serious injuries from these powerful snakes.

Large- and small-scale breeding operations keep snakes in warehouse-type conditions, often inside exceptionally small stacked plastic containers no larger than shoe or sweater boxes. These grossly undersized containers are inhumane and prevent snakes from expressing natural behaviors and movements, including stretching out to their full body length. These deadly predators require specialized expertise and care and should only be kept by qualified people in accredited zoos and sanctuaries.

Debbie Leahy, policy manager at The Humane Society

Gaithersburg, MD
That annual individual-American's mortality probability of about one in a half-billion really has me concerned. I wonder how many innocents have been slaughtered by gummy bears in the same time period.


Re: Cottonwood Heights man would rather move than give up sn

Posted: May 9th, 2013, 8:20 am
by AndyO'Connor
Yeah the twist on emotions by adding "including 4 children" on a statistic of 12 deaths in 23 years, is typical. The sweater box information is pointless in this case too as it was noted that this guy had an expensive and ellaborate setup with what the reporting officers said were impressive and very clean enclosures. I would like it if he could beat it, but I think he may want to just pack up and move. I couldn't find a gummy bear specific death rate but around 800 people a year die from choking on something. Approximately 4 people a year die on rollercoasters. And 2 kids have died on foot scooters recently. Outlaw those before worrying about boa constrictors.

Re: Cottonwood Heights man would rather move than give up sn

Posted: May 9th, 2013, 8:55 am
by gbin
And then of course there's the dreaded double-threat... the Gummy Python!


Won't somebody please think of the children!


Re: Cottonwood Heights man would rather move than give up sn

Posted: May 9th, 2013, 1:51 pm
by Daryl Eby
LOL. My sons want one.

Re: Cottonwood Heights man would rather move than give up sn

Posted: May 15th, 2013, 8:57 am
by Jeremy Westerman
Thomas Cobb went before the city council of Cottonwood Heights Utah last night. He was allowed to keep his boas, despite the astounding level of ignorance that some of his uppity neighbors have on the subject of animal biology. Common sense prevailed with over 2700 signatures on our petition for Thomas to keep his snakes That sure shut out their measly 50 signatures against it on the neighborhood petition. In particular Tobi Paulos, a woman with more venom than the obviously harmless boas in question railed against his owning them in her neighborhood because she feared for her life and the lives of kids. A veterinarian who took the podium later said that any dog in the neighborhood poses more of a risk to the kids than those snakes ever could. Tobi Paulos deserves to be ridiculed for her inane 5 minute rant on a subject she obviously knows nothing about and her vicious misplaced hatred for her neighbor whom she doesn't even know. Many in the reptile community came out in support of Thomas. A win for the good guys. ... 4960.shtml ... ng-snakes/

Image the adamant and ignorant Tobi Paulos, picture by The Urban Jungles Radio facebook page

The whole thing hinged on a vague city ordinance about exotic pets (which does not mention how many one can have) In particular it says:
8.04.110 Exotic animal.
“Exotic animal” means any animal
whose native habitat is not indigenous to the
continental United States, excluding Alaska,
except tropical fish, fur-bearing animals
commercially bred for the furrier trade, birds,
and dangerous animals.

well that includes guinea pigs, hamsters, chinchillas, sugar gliders, most tortoises, bearded dragons...well just about every animal in the pet trade. Thomas was unaware of the ordinance originally but applied and was granted a permit after city officials and animal control officers visited his pristine and well maintained snake enclosures. You can bet that they change this vague law to make it more strict. ... itle_8.pdf ... ations.pdf

Re: Cottonwood Heights man would rather move than give up sn

Posted: May 15th, 2013, 10:01 am
by Jeremy Westerman

and the internet memes begin. This one is from the U.K.

You say something stupid on a national news story and you become famous just like that.

Re: Cottonwood Heights man would rather move than give up sn

Posted: May 15th, 2013, 10:25 am
by AndyO'Connor
Glad to hear that logic and reasoning outweighed ignorance, it doesn't usually go down like that.