June 21 (UPI) -- A New York woman said she and her family received a fright when they discovered a 9-foot boa constrictor slithering in the grass outside her home.
Cindy Schmitz said she and her 2-year-old granddaughter were relaxing at her home in Derby when they heard the scream of the person who spotted the snake.
"I had no idea what was going on. I ran around the side of the house and there it was. The snake," Schmitz told WKBW-TV. "At first I was terrified. I'd never seen anything like it."
Schmitz said she and her neighbors worked to keep the snake contained while awaiting rescuers from the Erie County SPCA.
Officer Jennifer Maleskis, an Erie County SPCA animal rescue investigator who participated in the boa constrictor's capture, said the snake is believed to be a pet that escaped or was intentionally abandoned by its owner.
"The process of 'dumping,' or releasing exotic pets and animals into the wild after a period of domestication, is pretty common in Western New York. However, the animals are usually set up for failure. They either hurt themselves ... or in this case, they can hurt you," Maleskis said.
Maleskis said the snake has been placed in a facility while officials work to either find its owners or a new home for the reptile.
Boa constrictors are common snakes to be kept as pets, and are known to occasionally show up in unexpected places. The Clearwater Police Department in Florida responded to an apartment complex in December when a red-tailed boa constrictor slithered out from between the cushions of a man's recently-acquired couch.