Things that go bump in the night: Mistreated snakes, spiders and reptiles recovered from Cork home
Over 50 carcasses recovered from Irish home in largest seizure of its kind
More than 50 dead animals were recovered from a house in Cork after concerns were raised about the treatment of spiders, snakes and reptiles at the property.
The Cork Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (CSPCA) were contacted by a member of the public who was watching over the animals while the owner was on holiday.
"Unfortunately we removed 48 boxes of dead animals, there were 54 carcasses there in various states, be it tarantulas, snakes and scorpions," CSPCA manager Vincent Cashman told RTE Radio 1.
"We also found live tarantulas and different kinds of snakes also."
Having contacted the owner - who lived with his wife, child and mother at the property - the animal society was given permission to access the Douglas home and recover the animals.
Inspectors managed to rescue 44 live non-venomous snakes, a 20cm bid-eating spider, an exotic 10cm centipede and two parrots in their "biggest seizure yet".
Mr Cashman said there was "no problem" with anyone having any of these species as pets but he was "shocked" at the appalling conditions that these animals were being kept in.
"In this particular case, when we're dealing with such a large quantity of animals, this guy maybe just became overwhelmed with the amount that he had," he told Morning Ireland radio show.
"It's okay for people to keep them, they just have to be knowledgeable. People don’t realise that the small 12in to 14in iguana they buy will grow to be six foot long. It is not a goldfish. A lot of people buy these animals on a whim but that’s not to say there are great reptile owners out there."
However, the living animals can now expect a better standard of living as "all of the animals have actually been signed over for re-adoption".
"What we've done is we've made contact with the reptile houses in Fota Wildlife Park and Tayto Park, who will be taking a lot of the animals," said Mr Cashman.
“These animals need specialist care and shouldn’t be bought on a whim. What we try to do is to relieve the pressure on animal owners before it becomes a bigger problem."
"We try and help them out and if have to surrender the animal, we then put them up for adoption.”