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Snake avoidance clinic for dogs

May 11, 2010 |  3:50 pm

'Tis the season for rattlesnake avoidance clinics for dogs. Last week in Outposts, I mentioned a clinic going on Saturday and Sunday at Tapia Park in Calabasas, sponsored by the Mountains Restoration Trust.

Baby rattler For you San Gabriel Valleyites, there's a snake avoidance clinic for dogs sponsored by Quail Unlimited, also on Saturday and Sunday. This one will be at Sierra Madre Dog Park, costs $65 and will be conducted by Robert Kettle, a herpetologist from Nevada who's done similar clinics for various wildlife agencies and the military.

Even if your dog gets a rattlesnake vaccine, these clinics are a good idea for anyone who takes their dogs on SoCal trails. Anyone who's had a dog struck by a rattler knows it's a losing proposition. Getting a bitten dog off the trail and to a vet that has antivenin on hand is no easy task. Best to train Fido to avoid snakes in the first place, and hopefully alert you to rattlers on the trail, one of the goals of these clinics.

— Julie Sheer.

Photo: A baby rattlesnake at Will Rogers State Historic Park. Credit: Julie Sheer