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Saturday, September 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Tarantula discovered in Puyallup hotel after being left behind by its owner

A rose-haired tarantula similar to this one in a 2006 file photo was discovered recently left behind at a Puyallup, Wash., hotel. (Jeff Mangum / Associated Press file)
A rose-haired tarantula similar to this one in a 2006 file photo was discovered recently left behind at a Puyallup, Wash., hotel. (Jeff Mangum / Associated Press file)
By Allison Needles Puyallup Herald

A furry friend was picked up by Metro Animal Services at a local hotel in Puyallup on Jan. 17 – but it wasn’t a dog or a cat.

A female Chilean rose hair tarantula was found in a tank in an empty room, likely left behind by a previous owner.

“We were guessing that maybe she bit the owner, or they didn’t want her anymore – that’s generally a common reason,” said Jennifer Rollins, shelter assistant at Metro Animal Services. “We did try to reach out to the last person who was in the hotel, but didn’t receive a response.”

Nothing like this has happened at the hotel, which requested not to be named in fear of negative publicity. The guests who left the tarantula were from out of state, according to the hotel’s management.

Officers took the tarantula back to their facility. But unlike the other animals kept at the shelter, the tarantula couldn’t stay for adoption. Metro Animal reached out to a rescue to provide a home for the arachnid.

Predators of the Heart took the tarantula into its care. The nonprofit organization is located on Fidalgo Island near Anacortes and is dedicated to providing habitats for species that find themselves without a place to live. Metro Animal Services has worked with the organization previously.

“We worked with a rescue that specializes in those types of things to pull it from us and she’ll be living out her life there,” Rollins said. “She’s safe.”

Metro Animal Services keeps an open mind when it comes to helping animals, said Rollins, but she’s never seen a tarantula come through during her time with the shelter.

“This is the first one that I’ve seen, and I’ve been working here for two years,” she said. Later, she added that a Metro Animal officer, who has been with the shelter since its creation, hasn’t seen a tarantula come through either.

“We’ve had lots of farm animals, snakes, a variety of reptiles, but nothing this interesting,” Rollins said.

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