Leapin’ lizards — it’s the petting zoo from hell!
Hundreds of animals, many of them exotic snakes and lizards, were found crammed in an upstate woman’s house, according to a report Friday.
Some animals had feces in their food bowls and cages.Niagara SPCA
A total of 343 of the critters — which also included caged ferrets, rabbits, and tortoises — were pulled from the wild Lockport home of Sue McNaught Thursday, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office told Buffalo News.
Many of the creatures were starved and stuffed in small cages with poor ventilation, according to animal welfare officials, who also removed dogs, cats — and about 250 rodents.
“And I’ve never in my life seen a skinny rat, but the rats were emaciated. They had withheld food for so long that they were actually cannibalizing one another,” SPCA of Niagara Executive Director Amy Lewis told the paper.
She added, ”Many of these animals had some medical conditions. The snakes are very thin and dehydrated because they were living in moldy enclosures…There were quite a bit of respiratory ailments with those,” she said.
Others had bad injuries, she said.
“There was a hedgehog that had an infected wound on its head that had not been treated,” she added.
McNaught, who runs the Celtic Canine Motivational Dog Training center , was hit with charges for failing to properly care for animals, Lewis said. Her daughter, Bethany, faces the same charges.
Ferrets, quails and other birds were also housed in the hellish close quarters, Lewis said.
The town’s building inspector condemned the residence and changed the locks not long after the bust, according to the paper.