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Dead Python Removed From Vacated House in Middletown

Charges could be filed against the snake's owner for failure to provide adequate shelter.

Middletown Township Animal Control removed a dead python from a house on George Street, in the township's River Plaza section on Thursday.

The incident is currently under investigation by MCSPCA Chief Buddy Amato. He said the pet snake was housed in a wooden crate outfitted with a heat lamp. But the gas and electric have been shut off, and the very cold temperatures in recent days likely killed the reptile, Amato said. Pythons are accustomed to a tropical climate, he explained. 

Amato has the names of two young men — "persons of interest," he said — who were recently living in the house. The mother of one of them was contacted by the MCSPCA. She said the snake belonged to her son, Amato said.  

Investigators are looking for a dog and cat that were also known to have lived in the house, but not found inside. 

Animal Control Officer Marcello Aguirre delivered the dead python in a black plastic bag to the MCSPCA in Eatontown, where it will be examined. He estimated it to be about 4 four feet long and two pounds, but could not identify the species. 

The reptile was discovered after a neighbor who noticed the front door was ajar for some time, and telephoned police with concern. The police arrived to do a well-being check, and found the snake. MCSPCA officer Kerry Gawan responded. 

Failure to provide proper shelter to an animal is a disorderly persons offense. 

The house is located in a neighborhood off West Front Street, on the border with Red Bank. 

Kerry Gowan February 01, 2013 at 01:52 AM
* Middletown ACO Bob Card responded
NJarhead February 01, 2013 at 01:03 PM
I don't like snakes, but that is cruel.
NJarhead February 01, 2013 at 06:33 PM
That's his job.
Hunter H. Helmsley February 01, 2013 at 09:09 PM
These animal laws need to be revised. Its one thing if its a puppy but if its a snake, rat, hamster or cat - really? Come on. Kids are left to rot alone in camden and newark and the police dont come out to check.
justme February 03, 2013 at 01:38 AM
No, they don't need to be revised. If you choose to take on the responsibilities of an animal - any animal - that cannot care for itself due to cage/housing conditions/regulations, then you should be held responsible if your neglect ends in that animals death. It's reprehensible to allow an animal to die simply because you are too stupid to provide simple care, or find someone who can.

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