How many social workers does it take to measure the length of your snake?

A poor social worker was asked to measure the length of a boa constrictor to ascertain how many people would be needed to move the blessed thing, one of our writers heard this week.

The RSPCA told the social worker that it would require one person per four foot of snake to move the reptile and could the social worker indicate how long it was so they knew how many RSPCA members were needed for the job in hand.

It had not occurred to us here at Community Care towers that it would fall to social workers to look after the pets of service users should they need to go into hospital.

“Oh yes, there’s quite often the Friday afternoon cat,” a social worker told our reporter.

Earlier this year when we asked you what was the strangest thing that had happened to you in social work, Colin Luger told us:

“When I was a social work student way back in the long hot summer of 1976, I spent part of a residential placement at a halfway house deep in the countryside. One of my duties was to see to the goat that was tethered outside and ate anything within its reach.

One morning I discovered that someone had let the goat off its lead and it had eaten some deadly nightshade. The goat looked decidedly green around the gills and the vet was duly summoned and put it out of its misery. He then said that the goat would have to be buried forthwith otherwise it would be a health hazard. I found a spade, dug a shallow hole, and laid the body to rest.

The next day, I noticed that the ground above the goat’s grave was rising alarmingly and continued to rise until, by the evening, it was a foot high.

I realised that the heat was bloating the goat’s stomach. I found a sharp implement and punctured the goat to release the gas and restore the ground to its previous level state.

I observed the grave carefully for the remainder of my placement in case the goat decided to rise again. I’ve always felt that my social work qualification was slightly lacking for failing to teach me how to safely bury ruminants in a heat wave.”


Email in your amusing pet related stories and what you’ve had to deal with in the name of social work to the editor Clare Jerrom at

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