Hundreds of Dying Snakes Found in 'House of Horrors'
Rodents had turned cannibal inside Calif. hoarder's home
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2014 12:37 AM CST
Updated Jan 30, 2014 3:00 AM CST
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(Newser) – A horrific find in California as China's Year of the Snake draws to a close: Santa Ana police discovered hundreds of dead and dying snakes in the home of a teacher who moonlighted as a snake breeder, reports the Los Angeles Times. The 53-year-old man was arrested on charges of animal cruelty after police removed box after box of snakes, some just bones, from his home. Inside, cops found rodents eating each other amid a stench so strong it sickened officers standing hundreds of feet away. "House of Horrors: That's the best way to describe it," the supervisor for the Santa Ana Police Department's Animal Services Division told the AP after emerging from the five-bedroom home.

The homeowner—described by neighbors as a "regular guy" who became reclusive after the death of his mother—was known as a ball python breeder who had been using a process called "morphing" to achieve different patterns on the snakes. "He seemed normal but creepy," one of his former students tells the OC Register. "He used to have (snakes) in his classroom and it freaked everybody out." Animal welfare groups hope to restore the 180 or so live pythons found in the home to health and place them in schools or nature centers. At least 280 others were dead, some of them just bones.

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m slusser
Aug 29, 2015 12:12 AM CDT
How can you make jokes about this? I don't care for snakes as pets, but these animals didn't deserve to die an agonizing death from starvation! I hope they lock the sick bastard up!
Jan 30, 2014 10:52 AM CST
"He seemed normal but creepy" ?
Ezekiel 25:17
Jan 30, 2014 10:32 AM CST
My old Sunday school teacher raises snakes in his house. The smell for a well ran herpaterium is bad enough I can imagine one that has piles of dead snakes. We always liked this guy and I hadn't seen him in at least 20 years. He was the 7th grade boys Bible teacher. You couldn't wait to get to 7th grade because you knew you had arrived because he would often take the class across the street to the diner and have Sunday school there. So I'm working one of my senior's computer and we somehow start talking the Bible. Then the guy mentions his Sunday school teacher raising snakes. Then as we talk further I realize its my old teacher. The giveaway was when he said that on the first Sunday they met at IHOP for the class. I then knew it was him.