Snorkie Report: Rattle Snakes in My Town? OMD!

A Snorkie Public Service Announcement

Hi all,

Opie here,

Mama was reading an article in the local Culver City newspaper. She’d give you the link, but for some reason this article is not online at their website. The article is about rattlesnakes. Evidently, here in Southern California, we are entering a danger zone regarding these snakes. We are about to enter rattle snake season. I’ve never seen a rattlesnake, but Mama has. She grew up in Texas. She’s seen a lot of scary snakes — Water Moccasins, Rattlers, as well as Copperheads. Lori Fusaro, the author of the article states that “300,000 dogs and cats are bitten by venomous snakes every year.”
Yikes, that’s enough for Mama and me to take notice.

We live in the city, but weirdly, Culver City is very creature filled. We have opossums, raccoons, foxes and the occasional coyote in and around our town. Culver City is also home to several feral cat colonies as well.

I know there are at least two on my street. I have a hard time keeping them out of our yard. Mama says before I came she was usually good for can of tuna for the little grey tabby, who has had about two litters that my mom knows about. Mom is allergic to cats so she keeps her distance. Mrs. W. down the street feeds a big white and brown tom. Bottom line — we have a lot of critters. It stands to reason we have rattlesnakes as well.

Just above the dog park, my beloved Boneyard, the people park is full of hiking trails. It’s very woodsy and isolated up there. Mama says people hike and run up there all the time. It’s a perfect place for rattlesnakes to live because it is quiet and uninhabited – a true mini wilderness with plenty of game and peace and quiet. We won’t even mention our L.A. friends who live in the canyons. They definitely have snakes! L.A. is kind of weird. It’s dry and lush at the same time. Nice quiet hot dry spots for snakes and nice shady nooks for other types of critters too.

Mama’s not a hiker, but she has lots of athletic friends who like to hike and bring their doggies too. Lori Fusaro’s article in the Culver City News was an eye opener.

Here are the key facts from her article. (This would be so much easier with a link! Sigh!)

  1. Rattlers come out of hibernation in the Spring when they first emerge from hibernation and in the late summer. (Okay, clearly entering that period)
  2. Rattlers are active at dusk. Think about the time you and your doggy go hiking!
  3. If your dog gets bitten, take him immediately to the vet (Horn honking crazy time here. If you have a siren – USE IT!)
    1. Carry your dog because the venom effects them quickly.
    2. Smaller dogs are effected even more quickly. (Gulp!)
  4. Do not try to suck out the venom. (Don’t try it on humans either – stupid westerns!)
  5. Don’t put ice on the wound.
  6. Soap and water are good to clean the wound with.

If your Mama or Daddy is a big hiker, you all may need some special dog training classes on how to avoid getting bitten. There are trainers that specialize in this. (Think of this as an opportunity for MORE TREATS!) Lori didn’t have any specific recommendations.

Oh and here’s good news and bad news – Good news –– there’s a vaccination that dogs can get that can lessen the effect of a snake bite. Bad news – yes another &%$@ shot. However, I think I’d rather have a shot than be bitten by this loud viper.

So all you guys be careful out there! Mama and I will stick to the city sidewalks and the dog park, but you nature  freaks lovin’ types take heed. Be careful!

Many thanks to Lori Fusaro, author of “Rattlesnake Season is Coiled to Spring,” Culver City News, 4/21/2011, page 11

Another good source of info is

Your Pal,



About Opie and Opie's Mom

Snorkie with attitude. My mom writes about me and sometimes she lets me write something too. I was rescued July 11, 2010! I am so happy! I love my family and I hate squirrels. I don't know any cats but the neighborhood cats are fun to bark at. Read Opie's Mom's Blog to find out more about me. View all posts by Opie and Opie's Mom

7 responses to “Snorkie Report: Rattle Snakes in My Town? OMD!

  • According to Gus

    Eek! Thanks for the tips, Opie! We will be in your area (planning L.A. right now) and we definitely don’t want to encounter any rattle snakes – but if we do, now we know what to do.

    Can you please tell them all to scram before we arrive in July? 😉

    • Opie and Opie's Mom

      Well, I’ll do my best, but Mama hardly lets me go any places they might be. I think our dog park is very safe. We doggies are a little noisy and we dig and run a lot. No snakes in there. And in any case, the best vet hospital in the city is at the end of the block. Mama says they are the Cedar Sinai of Vet hospitals ( they cost the same too! HA!

  • Fiona (and Abby the Hippobottomus)

    We aren’t into rattlesnake season yet (although we do get them), but I try to be pretty cautious when it gets to be that time of year – although it’s always a good reminder. Luckily out vet is close (unless it’s a Sunday…). One more reason to walk/run/hike with doggies on a leash – fewer opportunities to poke one’s noses into places they shouldn’t be!

    -Dr. Liz (on behalf of Fiona and Abby)

    (The girls are off at daycare (the fans drying out the flood on the bottom floor are loud and drive Fi nuts, so I thought they’d appreciate a break – and a chance to go wild), but I’m making the rounds.)

  • Opie and Opie's Mom

    Leashes are for our own protection! Sometimes I’m too curious or have a big mouth. Mama didn’t even mention that as you go up the coast and get into our state and federal parks we have…. bears. That’s our state animal and in CC we still have a skunk problem. Yes, leashes are very good!

  • Mary Hone

    I worry about Roxy and now Torrey getting bit. With Torrey being a pup still, she is curious about everything.We spend a lot of time in the desert, we have never seen a rattlesnake(knock on wood)It’s something to be aware of.



    I don’t like the sound of those snakes!! Thanks for all the info. I’m hoping they don’t come in my direction – I’m glad my Dad knows the different types of snakes so he can keep me safe if we come across one of these any time 🙂

    Have a great weekend,

    Snoopy 🙂

  • 24 Paws of Love

    Good info to know. We have rattlers in MI too. Thank goodness, I’ve never seen one yet!

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