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How using a Boa Constrictor as a service animal shapes peopl

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Annabella Brown

on 25 February 2014

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Transcript of How using a Boa Constrictor as a service animal shapes peopl

Redrock's previous owner was abusive and neglectful, often passing him around to friends who treated him like his owner. Finally, after six years Redrock ended up being sold to a pet store, which is where Greene bought him.
As Boa Constrictors don't have the brain capacity or structure to be trained in service, the idea of them helping humans shocked the nation. But Redrock, a Boa Constrictor belonging to a man named Daniel Greene, proved otherwise when he saved his epileptic owner from multiple seizures simply because he can sense them coming.
Background
Bond to people, lack thereof to society
Epileptics who aren't afraid of snakes could really benefit from using Boa Constrictors like Redrock to save their lives from lethal seizures. Redrock suffered from abuse before meeting Greene, but he now takes great pride in helping him and saving his life. Redrock appreciates Greene for providing him a happy home, creating an eternal bond that you don't see every day.

In reality, however, officially using Redrock as a service animal is considered illegal, as the federal government does not recognize snakes as service animals (ABA Journal). The Government views snakes to be a potential danger to people in public who have a fear of snakes. But if society can't accept snakes as a service animal, especially if it has saved Greene's life multiple times, why do they accept other animals? Some people fear dogs or horses just as much as others fear snakes. What's the difference? Why does society refrain from giving people like Greene the support and service a snake like Redrock can provide?
Redrock & Greene
Redrock wrapped around Greene's neck in a lovely photo of the pair.
Training
Redrock was not meant to be a service animal, as Greene already owns two pythons and wanted Redrock to be his third pet. But as Greene told PeoplePets, an animal online news source, Redrock didn't need any training, it was already naturally apart of him.

Redrock uses his senses to detect Greene's blood pressure for an oncoming seizure. "He sees increases in my blood pressure, or detects changes in my body, three minutes before I have a seizure. He alerted me about the three seizures I have had this month," Greene said in an interview with PeoplePets.

Greene finds comfort when Redrock wraps himself around his neck and gently squeezes. Through this freedom that Greene gives his beloved pet, he learned Redrock's ability to save him from life-threatening seizures.

How using a Boa Constrictor as a service animal can shape people's lives
In an interview for Discovery.com about the extraordinary abilities Redrock provides for Greene, he said about Redrock [that]: "Greene claims that Redrock can sense a seizure coming on moments before it hits, giving him time to take the medication he needs to control the seizure."
Bibliography
"6 of the Most Unusual Service Animals | NCHPAD Blog - Endless CapABILITIES." NCHPAD Blog Endless CapABILITIES RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2014. <http://blog.ncpad.org/2010/12/13/6-of-the-most-unusual-service-animals/>.
"Animal Planet." 'Animal Planet: Animal Oddities'. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2014. <http://blogs.discovery.com/animal_oddities/2012/01/seizure-sensing-snake.html>.
"Pet Boa Constrictor Predicts Seizures, Saves Owner's Life." TakePart. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2014. <http://www.takepart.com/blog-series/paw-and-order/2012/01/31/boa-constrictor-predicts-seizures-saves-mans-life>.
"Story of My Service Dog." : Service Snakes?. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2014. <http://storyofmyservicedog.blogspot.com/2012/10/service-snakes.html>.
Opinion
I personally think that unless an animal is endangered or protected, if they can somebody's life than they should have the ability to do so, legally or not, and officially or not. All animals are amazing creatures that come with igniting fears into people or discomfort, but if one can offer to save someone's life, who are we to judge and take that away from somebody? To take that possibility away from somebody else who could use a companion like Redrock? If Redrock saved Greene's life multiple times, imagine what another Boa could do for somebody else with epilepsy.
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