A man was fined after allowing his pet snaked slither freely in a park that caught the attention of some concerned citizens.
Jerry Kimball has nine snakes and he loves to show them off. However, a park visitor called in a complaint that the Fire Bee Ball Python was roaming around. He caught the attention of a Sioux Falls Animal Control Officer as he allowed his pets to crawl freely at Sioux Falls Public Park.
The animal control officer who was responsible for charging him with $190, suggested that he restrain the snake with a leash. At first, snake owner, Jerry Kimball thought the fine was a joke because after all it was an odd request and it happened to be April Fool’s Day.
“He was literally asking me to put a rope around my snake,” Kimball said. “I was like, ‘Dude, no.’ I was dumbfounded,” he added.
Kimball thinking that the ticket was a joke, but much to his dismay, the fine was legit and fell under the category of “animals running at large.”
“Technically you have to have your snakes on a leash. I said ‘sir they don’t make such an item,” said pet owner, Jerry Kimball.
Animal Control Supervisor Julie DeJong said a city ordinance requires all pets to be leashed or restrained in public. She said pet snakes can be held or kept in a container to comply.
“If it’s in public and it’s not on a leash, it’s at large. The ordinance doesn’t really distinguish between animals,” she said. “Snake lovers should be more sensitive to the aversion many people feel toward the animal. While non-venomous snakes are legal to own, not all park visitors will welcome a python in a park.” DeJong added.
However, Kimball responded that his purpose in life is making people aware that snakes are not killers. He said “What better way to give back than to help people understand these misunderstood creatures?”