Owners reclaim snake left in rental car

/ Source: The Associated Press

A snake and his owners were reunited this week after the missing reptile was found in the glove compartment of a rented car.

Sammy, a 4-foot red-tailed boa constrictor, disappeared two weeks ago after his owners left him in the car while they went into an east side video rental store.

Richard Houston and Rosanne Burks were puzzled — their CDs and other items were still in the car. They searched the vehicle, looking under the seats and in the trunk. Finally, puzzled, they concluded Sammy had been stolen.

"Why would they just take the snake and not anything else?" Houston said.

They returned the car, and someone else rented it from the Budget office near General Mitchell International Airport. That man returned the car on Wednesday, and Budget employees opened the glove compartment. There sat Sammy.

Animal control officers tore apart the dashboard to remove the snake from the car.

Houston spotted his wandering pet on the television news that night and reclaimed him.

The snake, who normally needs warmth of at least 80 degrees, had survived two weeks in the Dodge Charger in temperatures that dipped below 40 degrees. Because he hadn't eaten for a week before he went missing, Sammy spent three weeks without food.

"It was a shock to me," Houston said. "He's a soldier, I can say that."