The stray pet that Anna Fewin found Saturday afternoon in front of her Mission Hills house was not the sort she might pick up and cuddle.
Although the San Fernando Valley has its share of lost puppies and kittens, this one wasn't even warm-blooded. It was an eight-foot, 50-pound boa constrictor. And Fewin, 55, does not view reptiles as man's best friends.
"I was terrified," Fewin said. "I cannot stand snakes. They frighten me to death. Small snakes, any kind, even a two-inch snake terrifies me. I ran to the telephone and called the police."
When the police got there, the snake was hiding under a bush in Fewin's yard in the 15200 block of Kingsbury Street, Los Angeles Police Lt. Bob Griffin said.
"We took it into custody," he said.
The city Department of Animal Regulation will hold the snake for eight days before putting it up for adoption, a spokeswoman said. The animal is almost certainly a stray pet, she said.
"Anything that big just doesn't run around the city without anyone noticing," she said.
Fewin sure noticed.
Neighborhood children knocked on her door in the morning to tell her about the snake in her grass, but she looked and saw nothing. Later, during a break from watching television, "I went out there just casually," she said.
"I didn't think anything was there, really. And there it was on the ground coiled up, just sleeping."
"She told us it was as big as one of the kids," said Officer G. D. Williams.