Today I saw my dogs playing with something in my yard. It turned out to be a very large spotted salamander (about 10-11 inches long). It was frozen solid, and I assumed it was either already dead, or frozen and would wake back up.
I brought it inside so my dogs wouldn't kill it, and I felt bad just burying it back in mud to continue its hibernation. It is now awake and moving around fairly normally. It doesn't appear that my dogs actually hurt it (as far as I can tell so far).
It's going to be too cold for it to burrow again over the next few weeks, so I'm thinking about trying to create a habitat for it, and possibly keeping it.
I've placed some worms/dirt/water in its temporary habitat, but I don't think it's completely thawed yet.
My question is, is there anything I should watch out for while it's coming out of a frozen state? Will it eat soon? I've never had a reptile, but I've started reading a lot, and I already have something I can turn into a habitat for it.
I live in Alabama, so it doesn't stay incredibly cold outside, and if I need to release it again, it would have some time to dig back into the ground before it freezes again.