Rare sensationalistic stories have Ms. Bianchetti dismissing snakes as pets in her letter Sept. 17. As a “responsible pet owner,” Bianchetti “make(s) sure that (her cats) are well taken care of and out of harm’s way.” Unless those pets are declawed and locked up 24/7, I would suggest her cats are more of a problem than the snakes she disdains. Scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that domestic cats in the United States kill a median of 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals a year, most of them native mammals like shrews, chipmunks and voles rather than introduced pests. These revised estimated kill rates make the domestic cat one of the greatest human-linked threats to wildlife in the nation.
Dangerous cats? One example is the Oregon family in 2014 whose 22-pound Himalayan house cat became so aggressive that they locked themselves, baby and family dog in a closet and called police. If an incident or two is a trend, dangerous cats are trending.
Owners of snakes have no less right to responsibly raise their pet of choice than Ms. Bianchetti. How’s that wildlife doing in your backyard?
Kristin Stilton, Boise