Warmer weather offers new challenges for the Frederick County Division of Animal Control and Pet Adoption Center. As temperatures rise, we anticipate calls for dogs left in vehicles and litters of kittens discovered under sheds.

Sometimes citizens do not understand our role in the community, so we take time to remind people of our mission. We serve the community of Frederick County by enforcing existing laws and ordinances, by sheltering homeless animals and making good decisions on their placement, and by educating the public on all animal issues in an effort to foster a more aware and caring community. There is sometimes confusion regarding our role in regards to wildlife and native animal species, including snakes.

According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, there are 27 different varieties of snakes native to Maryland. Snakes such as black rat snakes and garter snakes are frequent flyers (or should I say slitherers?) in Frederick County. Snakes are opportunists and enjoying basking on warm ground and a good meal — and who could blame them?

In general, snakes will often move on from a property if there is no food source or if hiding places are scarce. If you leave them alone you will avoid injury. While snakes will not initiate interaction with humans, they will react if provoked. Knowing these facts, we do not respond to calls regarding “snakes being snakes.” However, we will respond if a snake is inside a home or office, acting aggressively, or injured.

Living in our beautiful county includes learning to co-exist with the native wildlife, ensuring the comfort and safety of both you and your scaled guest. However, if snakes, sliders, or salamanders are overtaking your private property, one of the resources listed below will be able offer you insight into the world of herptiles and help resolve your concerns.

For more information on snakes, visit the Maryland DNR website at https://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/plants_wildlife/herps/Fieldguide_OrderSquamata.aspx.

To find a wildlife rehabber or damage control cooperator, or for the answers to wildlife FAQs, visit the Maryland DNR website at http://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/default.aspx.

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