I haven't heard definite news about the owner of the menagerie yet, but last word was that his burns will require long-term hospitalization. This means that finding foster homes for the livestock is a high priority.
The big snake and iguana and the four dogs seem fine today. Two had on Rabies Vaccination tags from a friend of mine up in Shelbina, Missouri. Now I know that Big Brownie is 5 years old and Little Brownie is two years old. I guess I'll call the white one Little Whitie and the black one Little Blackie (like in "True Grit"). The snake can be Big Scaly and the Iguana can be Iggy-Ziggy. Gosh, I feel like Adam in the Garden of Eden.
I did talk to Dr. Pope in Memphis about the reptile situation. He feels that if the chickens didn't suffer from smoke inhalation that everybody else should be fine. Apparently chickens in a truck fire are like canaries in the coal mine – the first to go. Also, the period of hypothermia will probably not be a long-term problem.
Dr. Pope gave me a turtle-rescue resource, and he knows some snake people, as well. I also have a lead on a big snake guy in a nearby town. The gators will be a more difficult situation. He didn't have any good ideas. The Memphis Zoo absolutely is not interested.
Our city's humane officer, Tena Petix, has been in contact with the Humane Society of Missouri in St.Louis and they have led her to believe there are some resources for the gators, as well as the dogs. Raccoon rescue is already lined up locally.
Then there's my brother's suggestion:
"I wondered how the gator-man's story might end. You just need a Polaroid or digital equivalent. Plenty of folks have paid $ 5.00 to get their photo taken with a python around their neck at the circus. If business is slow, you may need one of the staff in fishnets and heels — meet the Snake Woman."
She's alive, folks, they're all alive. I could so be a carnival barker.