SARASOTA, Fla. - (WFLA/NBC) A Central Florida woman was startled early Thursday morning when she went on her back patio and discovered a 4-foot-long boa constrictor.
When animal control wasn't around, she had no one to turn to, so a couple of Sarasota police officers came to the rescue.
At 5:30 a.m., Sonya Clifton walked to her back patio and saw her cats staring at the ground.
"I bent over and looked down, and you know I wasn't awake yet. And then I look down again and I'm like 'Oh my God, it's a snake,'" said Clifton.
Lying outside her lanai was a big snake.
"Oh, I'm terrified of them, scared to death of them!" said Clifton.
She immediately tried to get help but animal services wasn't available that early in the morning.
"Their office was closed until 8 a.m.," said Clifton. "That was a long time to wait and keep an eye on this thing."
She reached out to the police, and some unlucky officers got the assignment, even though they don't receive training for situations like this.
"When you heard you had to go to a situation where there was a snake, what were you thinking?" asked reporter WFLA reporter John Rogers.
"I was cringing," said Maiah Taylor of the Sarasota Police Department. "I'm a little bit afraid of snakes."
After they arrived, Officer Todd Tschetter happened to have a pole in his trunk, so he was able to safely get the snake away from Clifton's home.
"They were great, they were absolutely great, they made me feel more at ease," said Clifton.
These officers never know what to expect each day, but they're committed to serving the public however they can.
"I prefer that animal call than some of the calls that I have to go to. I'd rather have that than a bank robbery where someone is shooting at you or something like that, so handling a snake isn't a big deal," said Tschetter.