Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,741,889 articles and books


I can understand Flossie Torgerson's feeling of loss over her beloved pet Babette, but to declare that snakes should be outlawed as pets is ridiculous. It would be more logical to outlaw all dogs because of the few bad ones that attack and injure or kill people.

Snakes rarely escape from their cages, and it is even more rare that they would harm or injure anyone.

I own two small snakes, rosy boas, and they are not only my treasured pets, they are a valuable teaching tool. My snakes travel with me to camp and schools where I teach children about snakes, how to hold them, about their lives, how and what they eat, and the dangers a snake may present.

I hope Torgerson realizes that in her grief she is merely striking out in an illogical manner.

- Laura Urbanski


My heart goes out to Flossie Torgerson on the loss of her dear little friend and pet Babette. All animal lovers, and particularly we dog lovers, share her grief and horror at this merciless and unnecessary death.

I hope this is a wake-up call to not only the lawmakers to outlaw the ownership of exotic animals once and for all, but also to those who now own or are contemplating purchasing a so-called ``exotic'' pet.

There is no place in a private home for these kind of animals - they are wild animals WILD ANIMALS. Animals in a state of nature; animals ferae naturae. Vide Animals; Ferae naturae. . They may become habituated because they have a food source, but they can't be domesticated do·mes·ti·cate  
tr.v. do·mes·ti·cat·ed, do·mes·ti·cat·ing, do·mes·ti·cates
1. To cause to feel comfortable at home; make domestic.

2. To adopt or make fit for domestic use or life.

 and it is cruel, heartless heart·less  
1. Devoid of compassion or feeling; pitiless.

2. Archaic Devoid of courage or enthusiasm; spiritless.

 and selfish to keep them in such an environment.

The Wildlife Waystation The Wildlife WayStation is a 160-acre refuge in northern Los Angeles County dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating wild and exotic animals. A charitable corporation located within the boundaries of Angeles National Forest, the facility was founded in 1976 by animal activist  and other rescue places are full of such exotic wild creatures that were purchased as ``cute'' babies but as adults had to be given up, usually in poor condition and ill.

In this particular case, it's easy to put blame on the snake as the ``bad guy,'' but he was just being a snake, doing what boas do. What, indeed, if Torgerson's little granddaughter had stepped outside? Whoever owns that snake should think long and hard about owning this reptile; keeping it means another accident waiting to happen.

- Margot Trasatti

Sherman Oaks

I applaud the fact that Angus Johnson, owner of Alissss, the 7 1/2-foot boa, came forward and is trying to do the right thing and make amends to Flossie Torgerson over the loss of Babette.

How many people would do that in this day and age? To me, that proves Johnson is a very responsible guy. Only a true animal lover would show remorse and concern, not only over the death of the Chihuahua, but for the welfare of his snake.

- Linda Simeone

Toluca Lake

I sympathize with Verb 1. sympathize with - share the suffering of
compassionate, condole with, feel for, pity

grieve, sorrow - feel grief

commiserate, sympathise, sympathize - to feel or express sympathy or compassion
 the emotional pain visited on Babette's owner when the Chihuahua became lunch for a hungry boa constrictor boa constrictor

largest of all snakes; squeezes its victims in a deadly grip. [Zoology: NCE, 317]

See : Deadliness
. What I can't support is the notion that banning exotic pets will do anyone any good in the long haul Long distance. Long haul implies traversing a state or a country. Contrast with short haul. .

Our civic leaders have bigger and much more important fish to fry, even during the dog days of August.

- Pat Parker

Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850.  

So, ``Grieving woman wants snakes outlawed.'' Sorry, Flossie Torgerson, to paraphrase a statement by gun owners, ``When snakes are outlawed, only outlaws will have snakes.'' Let there be any kind of accident or incident and the first cry is: ``Ban it.''

There are over 1,000 boas and pythons in Los Angeles County that are not wandering around eating pets.

Why can't more people have the attitude of MADD MADD Mothers Against Drunk Drivers Public health An organization that advocates stricter legislation against DUI and underage drinking, and provides support services for victims of DUI collisions. See DUI. , Mothers Against Drunk Drivers? Members of MADD don't care
This page is about the music single. For the meaning relating to digital logic, see Don't-care (logic)

"Don't Care" is a 1994 (see 1994 in music) single by American death metal band Obituary.
 if you own a 20-year-old clunker clunk·er  
n. Informal
1. A decrepit machine, especially an old car; a rattletrap.

2. A failure; a flop.
 and drink beer or a $50,000 high-performance car and drink fancy imported booze. All they ask is that you don't drink and drive.

Over 95 percent of all people are good people. Whether parents or pet owners, hackers or hunters, bikers or builders, most people do the right thing. Trying to regulate the many because of the actions of the few is intrusive, expensive and futile.

- Woodrow J. Hughes


I have great sympathy for Flossie Torgerson and her quest to make the neighborhoods of Los Angeles safe from exotic animals like the boa that ate her Chihuahua. I do feel, however, that this is a perfect opportunity to take the reaction one step further to encompass all dangerous animals and the rules of ownership of those animals.

Currently in L.A., just because an animal mauls another or injures multiple people, the community is not guaranteed that they will be protected from that animal. In our neighborhood, we have had to deal with a woman who has three Rottweilers who have escaped from their property to maul dogs, including almost killing an adult Doberman being walked on a leash, and people on at least four occasions.

It has taken two hearings and neighborhood pressure to just have it ruled that these animals must live outside of L.A. city limits.

We must, as a community, protect ourselves, and particularly our children, from owners that do not take appropriate measures to restrict their pets to their own property.

- Judy Kessler

Van Nuys

I truly sympathize with West Hills resident Flossie Torgerson, who lost her beloved pet Chihuahua, Babette, to a boa constrictor.

Note the fact I did not, when describing the snake, use the word ``pet.''

- Eddie Cress

Los Angeles

It is truly sad that the little Chihuahua Babette was eaten by a boa constrictor.

If one of my pets were inside a boa's mouth, I would run for a stick and not a camera, at least trying to save my pet.

Snake owners need to be more responsible to assure that their pet's environment is appropriate and not running loose in a home where another pet may become a victim.

- Marion Winkler Winkler may refer to:
  • Winkler, Manitoba, a Canadian city
  • Winkler (novel), by Giles Coren
  • Winkler (crater), a crater on the Moon
  • Winkler (surname), people with the surname Winkler or Winckler
See also

Sherman Oaks

My condolences to Flossie Torgerson of West Hills. However, Torgerson's petition drive to ban exotic pets such as snakes is misinformed and misguided.

Snake attacks are so rare. Why do we need to legislate against something that hardly ever happens?

If Torgerson wants to do something useful, she should circulate a petition to ban dogs. Thousands of people are bitten every year. Some dog attacks even result in people being killed.

Our neighborhoods would be safer. They would be quieter with the elimination of that constant annoyance: barking dogs
  • The Barking Dogs is an Anglo-French alternative folk punk rock music group based in Paris (80's - 90's).
  • The Barking Dogs is German extreme-right-wing street-punk music group (90's to now).
. Snakes are quiet. And neighborhoods would be cleaner with the elimination of all the dog droppings that pet owners fail to clean up.

- Richard Varenchik

Santa Clarita Santa Clarita, city (1990 pop. 110,642), Los Angeles co., S Calif., suburb 30 mi (48 km) NW of downtown Los Angeles, on the Santa Clara River; inc. 1987. Situated in the Santa Clara valley and nearby canyons, Santa Clarita includes the former towns of Canyon Country,  

Responsible ownership is definitely an issue in such a case. Indeed, the snake's owner should have been more careful about confining such a large constricting con·strict  
v. con·strict·ed, con·strict·ing, con·stricts
1. To make smaller or narrower by binding or squeezing.

2. To squeeze or compress.

 snake. Boa constrictors can reach 11 feet in length, and other commonly kept constrictors such as Burmese pythons can reach upward of more than; above.

See also: Upward
 27 feet. Special precautions need to be taken with such huge snakes, not only for the neighbors' sakes but for the owners'.

While most of these unusual pets are usually amiable and readily recognize their owner, just like anyone they can have a bad day.

Don't punish owners like me for the irresponsible ownership of a few.

- Josh Rhea rhea, in zoology
rhea (rē`ə), common name for a South American bird of the family Rheidae, which is related to the ostrich. Weighing from 44 to 55 lb (20–25 kg) and standing up to 60 in.


What is ``Babette's Law''? Choose one:

A) Stupid.

B) Unnecessary.

C) Ridiculous.

D) All of the above.

I understand that the owner of Babette wants revenge, but come on, outlawing so-called ``dangerous'' pets is ridiculous.

Now I agree that we should have strict laws and restrictions on owning snakes, or more accurately, dangerous pets, but there is no good reason to have them outlawed completely.

- Pete Way Peter Frederick 'Pete' Way (born 7 August 1951, in Enfield, Middlesex) is a bass player. He is the bassist of UFO, Waysted and formerly, Fastway and Ozzy Osbourne.

Way began his career as a studio musician for many artists.



2 Photos

Photo: (1) Flossie ``Jackie'' Torgerson holds a picture of her dog that was eaten by a boa.

(2) Mike Pro holds Alissss.

David R. Crane/Daily News
COPYRIGHT 1997 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.
Wesley Shegrud (Member):  12/30/2008 1:03 AM
why not worry baout the thousands of people murdered in the united states every year?
yeah some people don't house their snakes properly because they are stupid.

I was taught at an early age to appreciate and respect snakes and research them before purchasing one.
Banning snakes will take beloved pets away from tens of millions of people, 99% of which take satisfactory care of their pet. the only real way to prevent these extremely extremely almost un heard of freak occurences is through educating children at an early age to respect all animals and to not rush into decisions about purchasing an animal.
I researched ball pythons for several months and bought mine and after a rocky start she is now happy and active, i consider my most beloved pet and one of the best decisions i have ever made.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Aug 17, 1997

Related Articles
Dogma if you do, damned if you don't.
Coming to grips with readability myths.
Climbing down from the ivory tower.
Less Horace Greeley, more Oprah Winfrey.
Spokane experiments with change; the editorial staff cultivates connection by opening pages to outsiders' opinions.
Pages join the design revolution.
Racist letters: to run or not to run?
Opinion pages fail to stake their online claim.
Editorial pages are key for future.
Why women don't write: time, fear, and society get the blame for lack of letters from women writers. Still, the Courant took steps to make editorial...

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters