Board of Directors:
Volume XXIII -- Issue Three -- December 1997
SUCCESS STORY: Stuck On You
by Shannon McFarlin, Shelter Director
It was a hot day in September when Patricia St. John brought in a Garter Snake who had gotten himself into a "sticky" situation.
For several months, the snake had been living in the garden behind Common Ground, an organic gardening supply store in Palo Alto, minding his own business, even helping out occasionally with his own special brand of organic pest control.
Unfortunately, as the temperature soared one day, Jake -- as his friends at Common Ground had taken to calling him -- went looking for a cool place to rest and wound up stuck to some brown packing tape that the locksmith next door was using to hold his office door open.
After finding Jake tangled in the tape, the locksmith took the door off its hinges and carried it (and Jake) over to Patricia at Common Ground to see if she knew what to do. The Common Ground staff cut Jake free from the door but they still couldn't free him from the tape, so Patricia called Wildlife Rescue.
WRI Animal Care Coordinator Kathy Tyson advised Patricia to use some mild liquid soap or oil to loosen the adhesive from the snake's skin. Unfortunately, that didn't work so Patricia brought Jake to Wildlife Rescue for help.
After letting Jake rest awhile (to alleviate the stress of having been handled by humans), Kathy and Senior Volunteer Sarah Scanlan went to work on Jake, gently rubbing Dawn dishwashing liquid onto his skin to loosen the tape. It took several "massages" but finally Jake was free, and Patricia returned at closing time to take him back to the Common Ground garden.
Recently, Patricia called to say that Jake is doing fine, still sunning himself in the garden and helping out with pest control. Evidently, despite his ordeal, Jake still likes Common Ground enough to, well, stick around.