Police in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, were performing a DUI traffic stop on March 24, 2021, when they encountered an unusual passenger in a driver’s car. They say the driver was accompanied by what appeared to be a python. The driver reportedly told the officers that the snake was his ’emotional support animal.’
Normally when people think of an emotional support animal, they think of a dog. However, snakes are relatively common to be emotional support animals due to their low maintenance needs. Snakes are fed infrequently and are naturally hypoallergenic. Some people claim that a snake can be comforting when they wrap themselves around their owner. Terrifying if you ask me, but understandable.
Pythons, a non-venomous snake, are known to run rampant in the state and are considered invasive to the area. Considering how common and widespread these snakes are in Florida, it might not be such an unusual choice to have one as an emotional support animal, or even as a pet.
The Fort Walton Beach police shared photos of the snake on their Facebook page. This is obviously not a daily occurrence for these officers, as seen by the look on one of their faces while holding the python.
Next time you’re driving in Florida, take a look over to the car next to you to possibly catch a glimpse of an emotional support python. But remember, service animals and emotional support animals are not to be interacted with or touched!