She's no expert, but when Betty Dillard found a 4-foot snake sunbathing on her back patio Wednesday she knew it wasn't native.
Ms. Dillard, who lives in the Connemara subdivision off Hereford Farm Road, was cleaning her house on a chilly Wednesday morning when she noticed the exotic-looking tan snake in her back yard. After taking a second look, Ms. Dillard realized it had to be a pet that escaped from a neighbor's home.
"I am a Georgia native, and I knew that wasn't a wild snake," Ms. Dillard said. "I knew it was a python."
She called her neighbor, Andy Shedd, an off-duty Columbia County sheriff's lieutenant, to come help.
"I picked up the phone and called Andy to come get the snake," Ms. Dillard said. "And he came right over."
When Columbia County Animal Control arrived at the scene, the snake had been captured and placed in a pillowcase.
"The snake was just about frozen when I picked it up," said Columbia County Animal Control's Joe Guerin, who wasn't certain what type of python it was.
Mr. Guerin, who has been with animal control for three years, said that calls about snakes are common, but not so regarding domestic snakes.
"Most of the snake calls we receive are for wild snakes in the summer," Mr. Guerin said. "This is only the third domestic snake call I can remember since I've been here."
Animal control officials say they hope the owner of the snake will come forward quickly. They will hold the snake at the facility for five days before putting it up for adoption. Anyone with information on the snake is asked to call 541-4077.
Reach Ashlee Griggs at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 109.