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    RSPCA prosecutes woman who had 200 snakes in her home

    NewsReptiles and amphibiansTuesday 02 July 2013
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    Pauline Wallace, 64, from York was found with over 200 snakes in her home that she shared with her 93 year old mother and son and after her court case was ordered to pay £93,000 in court costs.

    She kept snakes stacked in plastic boxes and vivariums around the house in pretty much all the bedrooms.

    When RSPCA officers investigated they found that the snakes were kept in very poor conditions indeed described as “living in a level of squalor”. Some of the snakes were left dead or dying, others were swimming in their own waste and water.  

    As a result of this the organisation brought about a private prosecution.

    THE RSPCA had been actively monitoring the house and several of the snakes had to be put down or taken away during improvement notices served on the house. In one horrific inspection, officers found 20 dead snakes and a dead cat in a freezer in the house. Wallace’s excuse was that they were her favourites and she kept them there until she could bear to bury them.

    John Boumphrey who was at court on behalf of the RSPCA said that “When the RSPCA were there looking at the snakes in quite pitiful conditions, the respondent had just been into town to buy two further snakes, and that indicated someone who was struggling at the time to deal with that many snakes in her control and did not realise she had a problem and seemed compelled to keep acquiring snakes.”

    David Ward defending for Wallace said that she had kept snakes for 13 years and bred animals. In the end magistrates agreed that the RSPCA should take ownership of all 72 snakes in the house.

    Wallace now faces criminal prosecution regarding these matters later this month. Costs will only be applied for if she is convicted by the court.

     

     

    Source: York Press

    Photo: Wikimedia

     

     

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