GOLDEN POND, Ky. (AP) — Land Between the Lakes officials are warning people not to drop off their unwanted pets in the recreation area after a 10-foot albino python was found.
LBL spokeswoman Nicole Hawk said everything from snakes to goats have been dumped at the 180,000-acre area that lies between the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers in Kentucky and Tennessee. Dropping off the animals there poses a danger to wildlife and could threaten visitors, she said.
“It’s definitely an issue with our wildlife and public safety,” Hawk told The Paducah Sun (http://bit.ly/Hm8B8f).
The albino was found slithering around Wednesday. It was taken to an animal rescue center.
Ramona Hamilton, head of the Trigg County Humane Society, said she tries to place any animal rescued from Trigg County or LBL. While she mostly sees dogs and cats, she’s rescued some horses.
“Some people bring them in and try to play cowboy and catch them,” Hamilton said. “Some don’t get caught. The bad thing is at night, unlike cattle or deer, a horse looks away from oncoming headlights, so you don’t get that glint. If a horse gets hit by a car, it’ll be killed, and maybe kill the driver, too.”
Gil Lawson, director of communications for the Kentucky Department of Parks, said state parks such as Pennyrile Forest and Lake Barkley have reported more abandoned pets.
Hamilton said owners who are unable to care for animals may think dropping them off in the park is a better option than a shelter which might euthanize an animal if not adopted. She believes most of these animals are condemned to starve, be hit by a car, suffer from disease or become food for predators.
“If you have to give up a pet, at least a shelter will treat it humanely, and give it a chance to be placed,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton added the best way to help unwanted pets is to avoid acquiring one that cannot be supported.
“If you need to find a shelter, look for a no-kill facility if possible,” Hamilton said. “Remember, there are rescues on the Internet, and you can always find a place that will advertise a pet that needs a new home.”
Information from: The Paducah Sun, http://www.paducahsun.com
Published in The Messenger 4.6.12