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Alpine Man Trains Dogs in Rattlesnake Safety

At $100 a lesson, Tom Minga isn’t cheap, but what he teaches is priceless.“I train dogs to stay away from rattlesnakes. That’s what I do,” Minga told NBC 7. Minga, who runs Snake Solutions in Alpine, has trained more than 1,000 dogs to avoid getting bit by using rattlesnakes he catches in the wild. San Diego Runner ‘Thrilled’ to Win Boston Marathon As the weather gets warmer, rattlesnake encounters become more likely. That’s why dog owner Kathryn Rand decided to call in a professional.“I don’t want her to get hurt,” Rand said of her dog Ruby. “We have a lot of rattlesnakes around here and I just want her to react before she gets hurt.” Rand lives in Alpine as well, a place where a dog had to be rushed to the emergency room just last month after being bitten by a rattlesnake. Hot Air Balloon Lands Near Rancho Penasquitos Water Tower The rattlesnakes Minga uses all have their mouths taped shut to make sure no one gets hurt, but to convey that the snakes are dangerous he applies a training collar that delivers a jolt if a pet gets too close.“I’d rather have a little bit of discomfort up front and have her trained and aware rather than get bit and have thousands of dollars be spent and maybe they still die,” Rand said. San Diego-Based Destroyer Used in Attack Against Syria During her training session, Ruby seemed instinctively wary of the snake, something that Minga said is built into about two percent of dogs. However, her more trusting friend Oliver needed a bit of a jolt to instill the danger in the situation.About 300 snake bites are reported each year in California alone. “They don’t all die but it’s very bad for them,” Minga said.That’s a chance Rand isn’t willing to take with Ruby. “I don’t know,” she said, “it’s like one of my kids almost.”
Source: NBC San Diego

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