A 10-week-old puppy is lucky to be alive after its owners helped it escape a python’s jaws on Tuesday night, after finding it in a pool of blood.
Sunshine Coast woman Kelly Morris said she and her partner heard their puppy Wally, a wolfhound cross, yelping in pain and found him in what they described as a “crime scene”.
“We heard a horrible sound and we thought he might have fallen or got stuck so we ran downstairs, and it was like something from a horror movie,” she said.
“There was fluid everywhere, he’d weed and pooed himself and there was blood everywhere.
“This snake was wrapped around Wally’s stomach and neck and was latched onto Wally’s face.”
The couple quickly tried to uncoil the two-metre carpet python and release Wally’s head from its fangs.
“He appeared to be OK, but his little eyes were starting to roll back in his eyelids,” Ms Morris said.
“There was a lot of noise and the girls [our daughters] were getting upset, the commotion woke them up.
“We managed to get it off and into a pillowcase and put the snake in a rubbish bin so it couldn’t get anywhere.
“We took [Wally] to the emergency vet in Tanawha and they did an X-ray on his little rib cage and everything to make sure he was OK.
“They gave him some heavy painkillers and antibiotics, he got a bit of a bruised lung on one side and they said to keep an eye on him.”
‘There was blood everywhere’
Ms Morris said Wally had been living at the family’s Caloundra West property for only a fortnight and turned 10 weeks old on Wednesday.
She said he was recovering well.
“We are so relieved and especially the kids are happy to see he’s OK,” Ms Morris said.
“It was just like something from TV or a movie, honestly.
“You see things on Facebook and go, ‘That would never happen to me.'”
Ms Morris said the python had to slither inside their home to find Wally.
“It was a real shock because the python had to go past four chickens – the whole chicken coop – before it came inside to poor Wally on the couch,” she said.
“He was obviously looking for something warm.
“There was just this lovely snack [Wally] sitting on the couch.”
A hunting snake ‘extremely powerful’
The crew from Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7 attended the property to collect and relocate the snake and said it was a startling sight.
“Brendan went out after receiving the panicked call and when he got there it was just blood everywhere, all over the lady,” said snake catcher Stuart McKenzie.
He said Wally was lucky to be alive, thanks to his owners finding him in the nick of time.
“When a snake’s in hunting mode, they’re extremely powerful and extremely strong … it doesn’t take long for the snake to constrict,” he said.
“Luckily, they managed to get the snake off before we got there so the hard work was done.
“If they had have waited for us to get there the dog would have been dead.
“But luckily everybody was fine.”
Rare event for snakes to target dogs, cats
Mr McKenzie said it was rare for snakes to attack and attempt to eat a dog or cat.
“It happens all the time with chickens, guinea pigs, birds, that sort of thing, but dogs and cats it’s pretty rare,” he said.
“We get maybe one, two or three for the year with a dog or a cat, but generally they’re too big in size.
“But when you get a really, really small puppy, then it can work because if you get a big carpet python coming through and it’s looking for food, they can easily swallow possums and some dogs are the same size as a possum.
“But generally, we get called weekly, nearly daily for chicken coops where a python’s gone in and eaten the chicken eggs or snuck into a birdcage and eaten a couple of birds – that’s very common.”
According to Mr McKenzie, snakes are not always to blame for pet deaths as often cats and dogs target the snake first.
“Cats and dogs are very curious, so they’ll actually go up to snakes and try and fight with them and then the snake will actually defend itself and then hurt the pet,” he said.
“It’s not always the snake trying to seek out and hunt dogs or cats, it can actually go the other way – it’s more likely to go the other way actually.”
Mr McKenzie recommended keeping cats indoors at night and keeping a watchful eye on small pets, particularly during snake season.