This rattlesnake was located in a coffee shop in Valley Springs on July 14.

This rattlesnake was located in a coffee shop in Valley Springs on July 14.

Drinking a hot cup of coffee is a great way to wake up, but stumbling upon a rattlesnake first thing in the morning is even more effective.

On July 14, Calaveras Consolidated Fire Protection District received a call from a coffee shop in Valley Springs regarding an unwanted visitor.

“Employees had told us once prior that they had seen a rattlesnake,” said Dustin Galliazzo, an engineer with the district. “We showed up at that time and were unable to find it, and basically told them to call back. A week later, they had just opened the coffee shop and found him. On our arrival, he was coiled up sitting on top of a coffee device.”

The snake was caught with a special tool, placed in a bucket and released into a field.

“We always try to release them if we are logistically able to,” Galliazzo said.

Spring and summer are the district’s busiest times of year for rattlesnake-removal requests.

“I would say during the peak we probably get two or three of these calls a week,” Galliazzo said. “It gets pretty busy. Especially in the spring. During that first couple of weeks when it’s warm, they start coming out and people start noticing them when they’re outside doing stuff in the yard. Especially this season with COVID, everybody being at home, I think there’s maybe a little bit of an uptick because people are around the house a little more than they usually would be.”

Galliazzo discouraged local residents from attempting to remove rattlesnakes on their own.

“We encourage them not to try to handle them, and just call us right away – call 911 – and we’ll show up,” he said.



Noah Berner has lived in Calaveras County most of his life, and graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in history.

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