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The HSUS Offers Reward in Pennsylvania Python Mutilation

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the mutilation, neglect, and abandonment of an emaciated 7-foot male Burmese python who was stabbed twice, shot, and released in York Haven, Pa.

The Case:  Citizens discovered the injured python on March 26 in a pull-off area near Brunner Island. Good Samaritans brought the snake to East York Veterinary Center, where a veterinarian described this as the “worst case of reptile abuse” she had ever seen. The snake was slashed in several places, including a large gash to the neck, and a gunshot wound to the back of his head was surrounded with scar tissue. The snake was humanely euthanized due to the severity of the wounds.

Animal Cruelty: Getting the serious attention of law enforcement, prosecutors and the community in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the community. The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented.  Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and other crimes such as narcotics, firearms violations, battery and sexual assault.

“This mortally wounded snake was put in a room with warmers and the veterinary staff watched as he stretched out against the blankets seeking comfort,” said Sarah Speed, Pennsylvania state director for The HSUS. “This poor snake suffered horribly as a result of this violent attack, and we are hopeful that our reward brings forward anyone with information. Snakes require specialized expertise and care and deserve the same humane treatment as all other animals.”

Authorities are finding released or escaped pet pythons, boa constrictors, and anacondas all over the country, including several other cases in Pennsylvania, where they endanger communities, threaten ecosystems, and in many cases suffer tragic deaths. Reptile dealers commonly peddle these high-maintenance deadly predators to unqualified people at flea markets and over the Internet. In 2001, an 8-year-old Westmoreland County girl was strangled to death by her father’s 11-foot, 26-pound pet Burmese python. The HSUS recommends that people stick with traditional companion animals, such as cats and dogs, and avoid contributing to the cruel trade in exotic animals.

The York County SPCA is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call SPCA Humane Police Officer Nicole Boyer at 764-6109, ext. 127.


Media Contact: Jordan Crump: 301-548-7793, jcrump@humanesociety.org

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