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Rattlesnake Clinic Article in the Union Newspaper


Get rattled: Rattlesnake avoidance clinic for dogs April 30

“Get Rattled,” a canine snakebite prevention program, has partnered with Friends of Western Gateway Dog Park in Penn Valley to host a rattlesnake avoidance training clinic April 30.

Area pet owners are encouraged to take part, said Jeri Stone, president of Friends of Western Gateway Dog Park.

Stone said appointments are scheduled by pre-paid reservations between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Sessions last between 10 to 30 minutes each.

The cost is $85 per dog. (Current members of Friends of Western Gateway Dog Park receive a $10 discount.)

Refresher training for dogs who have previously gone through this program with “Get Rattled” is $60.

Any and all proceeds collected above cost will help to continue improvements and ongoing maintenance at Western Gateway Dog Park.

According to the California Poison Control System, the state’s current warmer-than-average weather means that this spring and summer will likely be a very active rattler season.

“I’d say that most dog owners don’t really think about snake bites until they see a rattlesnake for themselves, in parks, or their backyards, and then realize their dogs can be at risk,” says John Potash, co-founder and co-owner of “Get Rattled.”

“‘Get Rattled” is a unique training clinic designed specifically to teach dogs on rattlesnake avoidance,” he added. “We have been teaching this clinic for 15 years and have successfully trained thousands of dogs.”

Potash is licensed by the Nevada Department of Wildlife and has over 25 years of experience working with venomous snakes and wildlife in areas of animal control, wildlife rescue, and public education. He works with skilled dog trainer Willie J. Stevens Jr., who has over 20 years of experience training and judging pointing dogs.

Rattlesnake Avoidance Training is a crucial tool for dog owners.

“Prevention is your number one line of defense in protecting your dogs from venomous snakes,” Potash added. “When dogs and their owners go hiking or to the dog parks to go off leash, this training teaches them to be fearful of the rattlesnake. It protects people as well, as the dog becomes an alert system.”

The clinic requires the use of a remote training collar that will be customized to fit each dog.

Registration forms can be printed directly from the website,, or they may be picked up at the Dog Park and at some of the following locations: local pet supply stores, veterinary clinics and dog trainers.

“Please read the registration form carefully,” Stone said. “While no dog training is guaranteed, this clinic will help provide local dog owners extra assurance and peace of mind this summer that their dogs will avoid dangerous rattlesnake encounters — protecting their health, and their families from suffering the pain and medical costs of a rattlesnake bite.”

For more information, including the exact location of the training sessions, visit the website and click on “upcoming events.”

For further questions, contact Stone at 530-432-4949.

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