Law enforcement officers respond to a nearly endless number of calls for assistance. Among those are the calls to remove snakes from a home or yard. The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office has a snake wrangler of its own — Cpl. Joseph Bradley.
Above, Fayette County Deputy Joseph Bradley recently wrangled this rat snake from a residence in Fayette County. Photo/Submitted.
Bradley has served for the past five years as a snake wrangler for the sheriff’s office. Having grown up in Fayette and living today in a sparsely populated area adjacent to a creek, Bradley said the idea of removing snakes from homes essentially comes naturally.
Bradley said he is one of a few deputies who respond to a homeowner calling about a snake in the home or on the property. Due to his willingness to wrangle the slithery critters, Bradley for the past five years pretty much serves as a volunteer snake wrangler who is more than willing to respond to snake calls.
“I’ll go out and catch them,” Bradley said with a smile.
It’s not as if snake calls are all that common in Fayette. Bradley said they usually come from homeowners living near wooded areas or water.
Bradley said some calls come in the spring, though the majority come in the summer. This summer, he has taken five calls. That number is a bit above the average, he said, adding that about half the calls come from longtime residents while the other half come from people relatively new to the county. The new residents often have not encountered snakes prior to living here, Bradley said.
And in the past five years, there a few residents who have more of a problem and call more frequently for assistance, he said.
As for the kind of snakes he wrangles, Bradley said they are mainly rat snakes with an occasional black racer.
Rat snakes help keep pesky critters at bay. Black racers, on the other hand, are a different story. Racers can be aggressive and, as Bradley noted, don’t mind chasing and taking a chunk out of anyone crossing their path.
Bradley said his experience with black racers includes being bitten, with the snake releasing then striking again.
The types of snakes Bradley rarely encounters after calls to the sheriff’s office are the poisonous variety, such as diamondbacks, copperheads and water mocassins.
“These snakes stay in wooded areas and keep to themselves,” Bradley said.
Regardless of the type of snake, Bradley relocates it into a nature area.