Snake Rescuers Plead, “They Won’t Hurt You!”

Written by Jan Macek of New Mexico

My husband and I do free educational snake programs and we will also rescue nonvenomous snakes from people’s yards or help them to identify snakes. A few weeks ago, I got a call from a lady who said she had a small snake in her yard and she was afraid it was a rattlesnake. I told her that a pointy tail in Los Alamos County indicates a nonvenomous snake but she couldn’t tell if the tail was pointy. When we got there, her husband had put it in a container and the poor thing was half dead and very dehydrated (it hadn’t rained in weeks). The reason the lady couldn’t give me info about the tail was she said the snake had gotten run over by a bike (I suspect her kids?) and the tail was mangled.

Recently shed skin

The snake is still alive after three weeks and part of the tail is gone, but it can still poop so the vent area is okay. Unfortunately, it won’t eat on its own so I am having to open its mouth and gently slide frozen/thawed cut up food down its throat.

Garter snakes have live birth, just like rattlesnakes and baby garters are being born end of June and into July. The egg layers, like bullsnakes, etc., are usually hatched out in August and September. Sadly, because any snake will try to defend itself, many people kill defenseless snakes like garters and bullsnakes thinking they are venomous. I am grateful that the lady did call me and that the snake survived, but it can never be released back in the wild. I have no idea if it will even survive. Time will tell.

Please be kind to snakes. They help balance the rodent population. Garters are especially beneficial in the garden because they eat mice and also slugs. Rattlesnake venom is used in medicines to help humans.  The least we can do is to help snakes. They are good creatures, afraid of us, and all they want is to be left alone. This is their world, too, so please share it with them.

Brought to you by The Great Animal Rescue Chase


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Marianne Forgo
Marianne Forgo4 years ago

Thank you for this article.

Margarita Bowers

May God, bless her for taking the time to help this poor snake. And may God, bless all you wonderful people who took the time to write and say that, you also, would have taken the time to help this snake. A Hug, from me to ALL of you!! Bless your heart, for being so kind to snakes.

Valentina R.
Valentina R4 years ago

Snakes, and reptiles in general, are so misunderstood and hated.

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle5 years ago

I am scared of snakes -- I realize many are beneficial and part of the ecosystem, but I don't want to get close enough to them to i.d. whether poisonous or not.

Christina B.
Christina B5 years ago

Fear of snakes is more or less inherent in humans. It will take a lot of persistent hard work to beat that. Thank you for trying.

Wendy Schroeder
Wendy Schroeder5 years ago

Every live creature has a purpose. I would never kill a snake unless it tried to bite me. Then again, I'm not up in the mountains enough to have to worry about that!

Terri Halle
No Way5 years ago

In order to keep us from losing yet another generation to violence caused to innocent beings, whether it is animals being tortured and killed or other children being bullied and abused, it is VITAL that we all LOOK in the eyes of children and TEACH them this: ALL BEINGS MATTER.

From the very beginning a baby NEEDS eye contact when they are being fed in order to feel nurtured and safe. That desire never changes in our lifetime. We all thrive on feeling valued and being heard, so pay attention and show it. Look up from the computer or video game or cell phone and LISTEN. It is as simple as that and it adds up to build confidence in a child and make a relationship a solid bond that lasts a lifetime.


All animals have the right to live!!!!!!!

John S.
Past Member 5 years ago


Morgan McDowell
Morgan McDowell5 years ago

Save the snakes! We need them to kill the other harmful things in nature!