Dead snakes in California - level 3
It was a foul stench that led animal service officers to this property in Southern California. Now called the “house of horrors” after a particularly gruesome discovery inside… hundreds of snakes, but many of them dead.
“Just in one room alone, we had 56 dead snakes and 12 alive. And that’s only one room. And that took us nearly three hours to clear.”
Police were expecting to find as many 500 once they had finished their search. The work was anything but pretty. Among the dead reptiles, there were rats and mice in the rooms. And the freezer packed with dead ones brought in as food for the snakes.
There were little clues for neighbours who saw a house that looked well maintained from the outside with a manicured lawn. The same attention was not employed inside, and it was a nauseating smell that drew attention.
Police have called this a case of animal hoarding. A teacher who had lived here since his mother died three years ago has been arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty.
The surviving snakes have been handed over to a welfare organisation with hopes they will be re-homed in more caring environments.
Difficult words: foul (disgusting), stench (very strong bad smell), gruesome (very unpleasant or shocking), reptile (cold-blooded animal), nauseating (sickening), animal hoarding (keeping a lot of animals and not being able to care for them).
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