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Pythons are destroying Florida. It sounds like the plot of a cheesy horror movie. But this is no horror story. This is real life. Pythons from Burma are destroying the fragile Floridian ecosystems by munching down anything they can find. These giant snakes will eat birds, raccoons, opossums and even five-foot alligators.

The ravenous pythons are natives of Burma. They are shipped to the States and sold as pets. Like human children, the python starts out all small and cute, but it soon grows into a large, hungry adult with a mind of its own. The python owner, fed up with the reclusive lifestyle that accompanies giant-snake ownership, may decide to be rid of the snake and set it loose into the wild. The snakes take advantage of their freedom by gobbling up all the other animals.

Pets haven proven beneficial to human species time and time again. Dogs make loyal companions. They can be trained to help us hunt, guard or pull a sled through the snow. Cats catch mice and keep our homes free of vermin. It is our responsibility to keep our pets healthy and our family safe. That's why rabies is so frightening.

Rabies is a virus that can afflict mammals. It affects the brain, causing violent mood swings. A once docile pup might turn on its master. Rabies is often associated with the foaming mouth of Old Yeller.

In urban areas, there are likely to be laws that direct pet owners to have their animal vaccinated against rabies. Those laws may be lax or non-existent in rural areas. No matter where you live, it is wise to have your animal vaccinated. An animal that contracts rabies will be euthanized or quarantined for six months. No one wants that, especially your pet.

If you animal is bitten, contact your vet and animal control authorities ASAP. Have your animal re-vaccinated immediately.

Why This is Green

A lot of green advice is just plain good advice. For instance, shutting your door to save on your heating bills is one of those tidbits that goes beyond green.

Quashing out a rabies outbreak through proper vaccination ultimately saves on resources. It also saves on pets. Pets provide health benefits to their owners. Cats kill mice in an all-natural fashion, and dogs keep deer, rabbits and other pests out of your garden. You can also reuse their fur.