A York woman whose house was crammed with around 140 snakes has admitted a raft of animal welfare charges. Pauline Wallace, 64, had the vast number of reptiles housed in an upstairs bedroom, living room and garage. RSPCA inspectors found 20 lying dead in a fridge freezer next to a dead cat because she could not bear to bury them.
The rest of her collection was kept in old sweet tubs, plastic bins and vivariums that were stacked from floor to ceiling. Wallace changed her plea before her trial and admitted seven charges of neglecting the reptiles by failing to ensure their welfare. She also pleaded guilty to two charges of animal cruelty in relation to a border collie called Alf in not providing veterinary care.
The court had previously heard that Wallace lived in the semi-detached home with her snakes and her elderly mother. RSPCA inspectors had discovered the vast array of snakes after a tip-off in July last year. Wallace told them she did not know exactly how many she had but guessed at around 140. As her trial at York Magistrates' Court was due to begin, Phil Brown, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, told JPs that Wallace was prepared to plead guilty to a number of the charges put to
She admitted that she did not provide the right environment for the snakes included in the charges, did not provide what they needed to exhibit their normal behaviour, and did not protect them from pain,injury, suffering or disease. David Ward, for Wallace, told the magistrates she was on an 18-month waiting list to see a medical specialist for her health problems. Sentencing was adjourned until January 16 and Wallace was bailed.
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