Python owners face animal cruelty charges

One of 40 pythons found at a Brantford, Ont., motel. (Brian Thompson/QMI Agency)

One of 40 pythons found at a Brantford, Ont., motel. (Brian Thompson/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:44 PM ET

BRANTFORD, Ont. - A couple have been charged with three counts of animal cruelty in connection with the 40 snakes that were found at a local motel.

Police found the ball pythons at the Bell City Motel on Aug. 15. They ranged from one foot to four-and-a-half feet in length and were inside several plastic storage bins, without water.

The SPCA took them into its care. Further examination revealed they were dehydrated.

Investigators later found the owners, who surrendered the reptiles, as well as five eggs, to the SPCA.

The couple, whose names have not been released, have been charged with causing distress to an animal, failing to provide care necessary for an animal's general welfare and failing to provide adequate and appropriate water.

“If providing for animals in your care becomes difficulty, it's important to take the appropriate steps to ensure the animal's health isn't compromised,” Darren Grandel, a senior investigator, said in a statement released Friday morning. “Contact your local SPCA or veterinarian to see what options are available.”

It's illegal to own a python in this city southwest of Toronto.

Many illegal exotic pets, including dozens of pythons, have been seized nationwide since the tragic deaths of brothers Noah and Connor Barthe, ages 4 and 6, who were strangled by an African rock python that had escaped from its enclosure in the middle of the night on Aug. 5.

Also Aug. 15, conservation authorities found nearly 50 illegal pythons in a B.C. home. All the reptiles were euthanized. Authorities seized more than 45 reptiles, including a five-foot American alligator, from a home in Cobden, Ont., on Monday.


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