LEANDER, Texas (KXAN) — Pet owners are warning about rattlesnake sightings in their neighborhood after their animals were bitten in recent weeks.
Jodi Chandler said she let her two Boston terriers outside early Thursday morning at her home in the NorthCreek subdivision. A rattlesnake bit both dogs on their faces. They’re expected to be OK, but the bites left them with severely swollen faces as well as a costly veterinary care.
Micah Brown, who lives on the next block over, found a baby rattler in his flowerbed while tending to his yard.
An officer with Leander Animal Services came and removed the snake, but neighbors are reporting other sightings. The Leander Police Department responded to two other calls in this subdivision just in the last week, according to a city spokesman.
“I don’t like it,” Lloye Acevedo said. “I don’t like it at all.”
Acevedo has lived in this subdivision for the past 18 years. She said she’s never seen any snakes during that entire time, so now she’s taking extra precautions to protect her three dogs.
“When I take them out, I put on my rain boots, get my [gardening] hoe, walk the yard and look,” Acevedo said. “Snakes hide, so I still don’t feel very safe.”
A man on her street also told KXAN he and another neighbor killed two rattlesnakes in their yards in the past week alone.
Dr. Samuel Morehead, a veterinarian at the nearby Leander Veterinary Clinic, said he’s treated more than two dozen animals for snake bites recently, which is an unusually high number.
“Snake bites are a true emergency,” Dr. Morehead said. “It is something that if that occurs, you need to seek veterinary attention immediately.”
Leander city officials said new development near Devine Lake Park has likely driven more snakes into their neighborhood. They’re asking neighbors who see snakes or any other wild animals to contact Animal Services with the Leander Police Department at 512-528-2800. If the animal is visible and in an open area, their trained staff members can safely remove and relocate them.
City leaders also recommend people remove debris that could be used as a hiding or resting place for snakes in their yards. That includes trimming overgrown grass and bushes as well as moving furniture or other large objects around their properties.
Acevedo said she’s now worried about more than just the pets in her neighborhood.
“My grandkids were here for the weekend,” she said. “We did not play outside, front or back. It’s too scary.”