AMHERST, Mass. — Police in Massachusetts say they shot and killed a pet boa constrictor after it fatally crushed a puppy.

Amherst Animal Welfare Officer Carol Hepburn says a pet sitter called police at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday to report that the snake, which she estimates was at least 6 feet long, had escaped from its tank and wrapped it itself around the 8-month old puppy.

Police tried unsuccessfully to pull the snake off the dog, and Hepburn says the dog was dead by the time she arrived. The pet sitter contacted the animals' owner, who was overseas, and got permission for police to humanely kill the snake.

Hepburn dragged it from the house first.

It is not illegal to own boa constrictors in Massachusetts and no charges are expected.