City residents may want to watch their step - and their pets - over the next few days while downtown.
"We have had reports of a 10 foot snake on the loose," said City Clerk Bonnie Warne. "We believe someone let their pet snake out over the weekend to get some fresh air and when they came back to the enclosure, it was missing."
Warne said that the snake, which is believed to be a 10.5 foot python, was last seen at the apartments around Peach Brandy Cottage on Hwy. 9 South.
Pythons, while nonvenomous, can grow to be some of the largest snakes in the world.
They use their hook-like teeth to latch onto prey and kill via constriction by wrapping a number of coils around its victim.
Death occurs primarily via asphyxiation.
"Animal control has been alerted and they are currently looking into reports about the snake," Warne said. "It's definitely not a story we get all the time, that's for sure."
Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan said the city and county are working together to help find the snake.
"I spoke with [Commission Chairman] Mike Berg on Monday after learning about this. He asked animal control to go over and attempt to find the snake," he said.
The snake's owner has also been put in contact with a company that captures animals, according to Grogan.
"We are looking and would ask anyone in the area to notify animal control or the city if seen," he said.
Dawson County Manager Cindy Campbell confirmed that animal control officers had been contacted about the snake.
She said the county's animal control officers referred the owner of the snake to the Department of Natural Resources.
Communication officer Mike McKinnon said DNR only regulates wild animals and would not be responding to a loose python, as the type of snake is a pet.
"Basically, anything that can be bought as a pet in a pet store would not be handled by DNR," he said.