Snakes abandoned at Heywood property rescued by RSPCA

Date published: 03 May 2022

RSPCA inspectors were handed a slithering surprise when they discovered seven snakes left abandoned at a house in Heywood.

The royal python and six corn snakes were found at a property on Railway Street after the owner of the reptiles had contacted the RSPCA and his landlord to say he was leaving his animals behind as he was moving home.

While the snakes may have been unwanted, all seven of them were found to be healthy and in a good condition, despite being kept in makeshift plastic tubs and containers.

The four adult corn snakes, two baby corn snakes and a python are now looking for some proper creature comforts in new homes after they were collected and taken into the care of a specialist reptile rescue near Knutsford on Monday, April 25 (where they are pictured above).

The RSPCA advises anyone taking on the responsibility of reptile ownership to undertake thorough research on the needs of the particular species, and only consider keeping one if they can meet those needs - many people are unaware of how much of a commitment snakes are when they take them on.

“While the needs of the snakes weren’t being met when we found them in this property they were in a good condition and the owner had clearly been feeding them,” said RSPCA inspector Catherine Byrnes. “The largest corn snake was in a vivarium, but the other snakes were all in plastic containers of various sizes with lids.

“To look after snakes you do need to provide a living environment for them with adequate heating, lighting and humidity. We did find some heat mats in a bedroom, but obviously the owner hadn’t got around to using them or housing his snakes properly.”


The four adult corn snakes, two baby corn snakes and a python have been taken to a specialist reptile rescue


The RSPCA also recommends owners invest in an enclosure suitable for the particular species and ensure it is kept secure.

“Potential owners need to think carefully before they adopt snakes and other exotics because they are specialist animals. You need to have the correct set-up to look after them and you need to understand you are responsible for finding them a suitable home if you are unable to continue caring for them,” added Catherine.

“We can help out, but it is not that simple as animals like this can be difficult to rehome.

“RSPCA inspectors are trained in reptile handling, but we don’t always know what type of snake we are dealing with. With breeding you can get coloured variations in species and you can’t always distinguish between something that is venomous or not.

“We quite often have to send photographs of the snakes off for identification. Of course, none of these snakes were venomous and they were all taken into the care of Cheshire Reptile Rescue from where they will be rehomed.

“But it would be better if people did their research and understood their responsibilities before adopting exotics such as snakes.”

Greg Palmer, owner at Cheshire Reptile Rescue, added: “Potential owners can contact their local rescue who will always provide them with specialist advice.”

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