A few days ago, a gentleman in Texas had his beautiful boa contrictor stolen from his car. After searching high and low, and offering a reward for her return, he received an anonymous phone call that led him to her destroyed body. She had been bludgeoned with rocks, then torn in half.
I'd imagine that whoever swiped her had no idea what they were stealing when they grabbed the bag from the seat of the man's car. He'd left the window open as he went into the Circle K to get a coffee. Less than two minutes passed betweent the time he parked and the time he came back to his vehicle. It was probably some stupid piece of shit looking for guns, money, or drugs. Instead, the thief opens a bag containing an 8-foot-long albino boa constrictor. I suppose for a non-snake-lover, that is probably shocking.
However, no matter how much you fear snakes, the entitlement a person feels to kill someone else's beloved pet simply because they didn't know what they were getting into when they ROBBED that someone's car, is really galling. They had choices they could have made at that point--they could have closed the bag and dropped it somewhere, snake intact. They could have anonymously left it on the doorstep of a pet store. Instead, they CHOSE to torture and kill it, for no reason except perhaps their own fear, or their own amusement.
I know that many people do not understand that some of us really love and have relationships with our snakes. Maybe you're afraid of them, and you don't like them, but we do not feel the same way you do. We have invested time, and love, and care into making these animals a part of our lives. We know their individual quirks, their personalities (yes, they DO have personalities), and the physical things that make them different from others of their kind. I look into Julian's yellow eyes, and watch his black tongue flicking, and I feel warm and fuzzy inside. I watch someone hold Tez, my Honduran milk snake, and they soften from anxiety to delight, as they enjoy his gentle movements over their arms, and they realize that they have overcome some of their deepest fears. I have seen Gregor go from terrified face-biter to simply wary and mildly trusting, after he learned that we, unlike his previous owners, meant him no harm.
They do have personalities. We DO love them. Even if you can't imagine that, at least respect it--snakes don't deserve abuse and destruction any more than other, more "charismatic" pets, and their owners don't deserve to suffer their loss, no matter how weird or creepy you think liking snakes is.