‘Guess Who’s Going in First?’
A number of our enquiries for help come from landlords, both private individuals, and councils or housing organizations. Some involve animals abandoned by tenants who have left, others advice regarding prospective tenants and their pets.
One particular case involved a housing association who were due to carry out an eviction. The tenant concerned had several pet snakes, which it seems were the reason for the eviction. Additionally there were some psychological issues and previous attempts to remove the pets had resulted in threats to release the animals into the flat if anyone tried to intervene, while also claiming they would do themselves harm too.
All the arrangements had been made before hand, and I dually arrived at the scene. In attendance were a host of police, ambulance crews and bailiffs, together with the agents from the housing association. So we have a situation where a tenant is threatening to do himself harm, together with anyone entering the property, and the possibility of numerous snakes on the loose! Now it has to be said that both the police officers, and the bailiffs, were significantly beefier than me...and no doubt used to dealing with violent situations...so who logically would be at the front of the queue to enter the flat? Police? You’d think so wouldn’t you! Bailiff’s? A close second! A single un-prepared snake handler? Nah!.....Oh Yes! So myself and two police officers get to the front door...they do their bit and open the door...and guess who’s going in first!
Thankfully upon entering the flat, firstly the tenant was out, and secondly they hadn’t released the animals. We recovered six snakes, a mix of species including Boa Constrictors, Northern Pine Snakes etc. Which were removed and brought back to the rescue. In this situation the animals were obviously not abandoned or needing to be rescued as such. The owner was reunited with the snakes when they had found new accommodation, and had suitable enclosures to house the animals.