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Corn snakes are cute when they're young, right?
A St. Charles couple kept 157 snakes and lizards in their split-level rental property, as well as at least 1,500 live mice to feed them, and one dog. The snakes were housed in clean cages -- the problem was all the animal waste, which the couple, Michelle Higgins and Anthony Higgins, Sr., did not clean up. This created quite a stench, and also made for horrible living conditions for them and their two children, age 13 and 15.
The snakes, mostly ball pythons, corn snakes, milk snakes and king snakes, are not venomous nor are they classified as exotic pets under St. Charles County ordinances. Still, conditions in the house were so bad after at least two years of accumulated filth that the children have been placed in the custody of a relative, and the house has been condemned.
The Higgins' voluntarily ceded their snakes to the St. Louis Herpetological Society. The mice have gone to a supplier of feeder rodents for pet stores. The lizards whereabouts have not been made public.
As for Anthony Higgins, he admitted to the authorities that this is the second time he's hoarded a large amount of animals. Right now, the family only has the dog, which they were allowed to keep. Hopefully, it's spayed or neutered.