My neighbor came to me in my basement workshop this afternoon and asked for my help.
She had just hit a snake with her lawnmower and wanted me to ID it. I caught a baby Northern Brown snake last week, and I see them every spring, so I told her that’s probably what it was.
Nope. A young Copperhead, fully intact, but with some serious (fatal) head trauma from inquiring about that loud noise overhead. He was about 18" long, and had recently eaten as evidenced by his wide belly.
I picked him up and carried him home to show the kids what to walk away from, as I always do with venomous critters.
They both rolled their eyes, told me “It’s a Copperhead, Dad. We wouldn’t bother it.” and went back to their video games. Little know-it-alls. Fine. I’ll show Mrs. when she gets home. I left a venomous, but dead snake on a bench on the deck and went back to my shop to finish my task.
I came up later to get a gas can from the deck and noticed the snake was gone.
Querying children produced “No” from both.
Great. Either the 5lb cat, the 10lb Dachsund, or the 20lb Dachsund has made off with my prize, and surely eaten their fill. Mmmmm, snake.
A call to the veterinarian confirmed that it’s OK for pets to EAT venomous snakes, but not to get bitten by them. 6 hours later, all 3 seem fine.
Since we were unable to find any trace of the snake in the yard, I suspect the cat took it [del]under the deck[/del] to her lair, where she runs with everything she catches. By now I know it looks like a miniature horror film under there with hundreds of bones and skulls sitting around.
Note for the future: Keep snakes away from pets. Or pets away from snakes. And wear shoes in the yard from now on.