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How I Overcame My Fear of Creepy Crawly Creatures

I've seen a lot over the years as an animal control officer but I wasn't really prepared for this day.

A number of years back I met a Milford Police Detective Frank Gall. One of Frank's jobs is to process crime scenes, which is where Frank and I really began to work together.

The phone call went something like this: "Rick, I'm investigating a case and I've been asked by the family to find homes for this persons 'pets.'" 

"Dogs and cats," I foolishly asked?  

Frank responded, "No". 

"Okay, then do you want to tell me what kind of animals, Frank?"

"Not really Rick, come out and see for yourself." 

I've seen a lot over the years as an animal control officer but I wasn't really prepared for this day. I walked into a large industrial building housing trucks and welding supplies, rigging and tools. "Over here," Frank said as he directed me to a small office area. 

Inside this area was shelves after shelves of tanks, some big, some little, but all containing critters and Frank standing there enthralled with his find. It was there that I realized that Frank's passion above and beyond his family and job was reptiles and creepy crawly things. 

The tanks contained BIG snakes and smaller snakes, African centipedes, scorpions (and not just plain run of the mill scorpions but an Egyptian Death Stalker scorpion) and a King Baboon tarantula (a spider the size of my hand).

The rest is history. Frank and I spent a week lining up zoos, museums, etc., -- licensed places that would responsibly care for and display these animals.

Frank's way and knowledge of reptiles is legendary and he presents them and himself in such away that he is fascinating to watch and listen to as he explains each animals habitat and habits. If you had fears going into one of Franks presentations you will go out with a better understanding and respect for the reptiles that Frank owns himself, many of which were rescued by Frank himself.

On his own time, Frank assists us and other towns with cases of loose and mistreated reptiles and is a great asset in that animal control officers usually only deal with domestic animals. So here is the opportunity of a lifetime to meet and greet detective Frank and some of his friends.

Detective Frank will be at the Milford Public Library Tuesday, February 21st at 2 p.m., to present some of his "friends" -- Elmer the python, Burt the boa, Fred and Cedric the tortoises, Joe the iguana, Sandy the monitor and others.

Officer Rick (that's me) will also be there to give out "junior badges" and talk about responsible pet ownership and pet safety. So parents and children 7 years and up come on out and see these animal friends up close!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

DEBBIE JAMIESON February 19, 2012 at 01:04 PM
This sounds awesome!!
Pam Landry February 21, 2012 at 11:13 AM
Hey Rick nice to see you back here!
RIck George February 21, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Hi Pam and thanks nice to be back!

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