Man receives fine for not keeping his pet snake on a leash

A South Dakota man was fined for letting his snake roam freely in a park -- and what an animal control officer suggested he do had him wondering.

According to the Argus Leader, Jerry Kimball said he thought the recommendation to put his snakes on leashes was a joke because it was April Fools' Day.

The $190 ticket he received, unfortunately, was no joke.

"He was literally asking me to put a rope around my snake," Kimball told the newspaper. "I was like, 'Dude, no.' I was dumbfounded."

Kimball said the officer approached him after a woman complained that is Fire Bee Ball Python was roaming freely at Falls Park in Sioux Falls.

Source: Facebook

Animal Control Supervisor Julie DeJong told the Associated Press that a city ordinance requires all pets to be leashed or restrained in public. If you can't put your pet snake on a leash, you have to at least hold it or put it in a container.

"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.

DeJong added that snake owners should be sensitive to the fear many others feel toward the animal. Though the non-venomous snake is completely legal to own, many would not welcome a free python roaming through the park.

Kimball said he considers it his mission to make sure people are not afraid of snakes.

"That's my purpose in life: To let people know that snakes aren't killers," he said. "What better way to give back than to help people understand these misunderstood creatures?"

Kimball is planning to fight the ticket in court.

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