Baltimore animal control officers rescue 56 snakes from Reservoir Hill apartment

A complaint of a foul odor led Baltimore animal control officers to 56 mite-infested snakes in one apartment.

Baltimore animal control officers say they rescued 56 snakes Tuesday from a Reservoir Hill apartment. The reptiles were dehydrated and infested with mites, an official said.

A day later after a separate call to the same area, the 2100 block of Callow Avenue, officials rescued another seven snakes from a different home. It's not clear if the cases are related, said Sharon Miller, the city's director of animal services.

Investigations are ongoing and could lead to civil citations or criminal charges, Miller said.

Animal control officers responded to the first apartment after property management called to complain of a foul odor. After finding the snakes in squalid conditions, the officers removed the animals from the home for their safety and brought them to the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, Miller said.

She declined to elaborate on the circumstances under which officers found the snakes because of the pending investigation.

The snakes include ball pythons, reticulated pythons and red-tailed boas, also known as boa constrictors, said Jennifer Brause, executive director of the shelter, known as BARCS. Most of them are 3 to 5 feet long, and several are 8 to 10 feet long, she said.

Animal control officers rescued 66 snakes between the two homes, but three had to be euthanized, Brause said.

The snakes will remain at BARCS while animal control officers investigate, she said. If the officers decide the animals cannot return to the homes, BARCS will work with reptile rescue groups to have them adopted, she said.

Officers are also investigating any possible link between the two homes, Miller said.

"They could have both been in the world of collecting and breeding snakes and knew of each other, but we haven't been able to confirm that yet," she said.

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