Venomous Gila monster found by Scottsdale couple

Posted: Updated:

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - A Saturday night turned from sleepy to creepy for one Scottsdale couple when they discovered a venomous Gila monster in their garage.

Cari Dandy says her husband had gone into the garage to get something and saw the foot-long orange and black lizard as soon as he opened the door.

"He opened the door and I heard it slam and he came out with a really terrified look on his face , and he was like, 'there is the biggest lizard out on the floor mat'," said Dandy.

The couple wasn't sure what the reptile was but after a quick Google search they realized it was a Gila monster, one of the two breeds of venomous lizards.

"I would say the hair was standing up on my arms, just a little bit," said Dandy.

The couple called for help and took out their flip video camera to capture the whole thing on camera.

Dandy's husband called the 24-hour hotline at the Phoenix Herpetological Society and Nate Peason and Jessica Satter arrived soon after.

The Gila monster is not deadly but their venomous bite can be extremely painful.

The species is protected by state law and it is illegal to trap, hunt or capture one.

Peason and Satter captured the one from the Dandy's garage and and then re-released it in a nearby wash.

Under state law, if found out of its natural habitat a gila monster must be re-released within about 1,000 yards of where it's discovered.

The Dandys say they'll keep their garage door closed from now on.