When Lindsay Grow, 30, of Bella Vista, came home from a night out of town last weekend, she was shocked to discover that her pet snake Ripley had escaped its cage.
"I pretty much tore apart my house," Grow said, who has had Ripley for six years since she was a tiny snake, of the discovery.
But then she realized that she had left a window open due to the warm weather — and that Ripley (named after Sigourney Weaver's character from "Alien") had escaped.
"I freaked out and contacted Philadelphia Animal Control ... the PSPCA, posted an ad on Craigslist, posted an ad on Facebook," she said of her efforts to notify the community about Ripley.
Grow said she has since received messages from people wishing her well and people saying they have snake phobias and blaming her for frightening them.
"I figured people would be afraid, but I didn't care. I just want to get her back," Grow said.
Grow recently papered her neighborhood with wanted fliers. She is hoping Ripley is still nearby.
Ripley also went missing right at the time she usually has her twice-a-month meal of a large mouse, Grow said.
"She's probably pretty hungry and in a bad mood," she said.
But Ripley is not a threat to people, Grow said.
"She is too small to kill a cat. She's used to humans," Grow said.
Grow said snakes are her "passion."
"She's trained to hang around your neck when you're walking, so I take her on walks around the city. I like to try to educate people about animals so that they're not afraid," Grow said.
In her free time, Ripley usually likes to hang out, climb or look at Grow's cat.
"She's my spirit animal. I just feel like she's a part of who I am," Grow said. "Animals add so much to our lives. It's really heartbreaking when they leave."
If you have any idea where Ripley is, email Grow email@example.com