AMITYVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The Suffolk County SPCA is known for helping cats and dogs, but officials received an unusual call Wednesday about an animal in need in Amityville.
Police called the SPCA to report that a female rose-haired tarantula had been abandoned in the front of a house on Grand Central Avenue.
“From my understanding, I think it was just on the front porch of the house,” said SPCA Chief Roy Gross. “Apparently, somebody dumped it there.”
Officers from the SPCA responded and took the tarantula to a wildlife sanctuary out of state.
Gross said the rose-haired tarantula tends to be more docile than other tarantulas, but said all tarantulas are venomous.
“I don’t know of any tarantulas that have actually caused the deaths of any humans, but it is a painful sting, it causes itching, it may cause a slight fever. But if someone has an allergic reaction, it could be quite serious,” he said.
Gross said before biting, tarantulas may signal their intention to attack by rearing up into a “threat posture” by spreading and extending their fangs, and in certain species, making a loud hissing sound.
He said in general, tarantulas are not the best choice as a pet.
“I really don’t recommend having that kind of animal,” he said. “I really can’t imagine sitting there watching TV, having a tarantula crawling around on you. I would stick to puppies and kittens.”