Investigation leads to menagerie of snakes, mice, and other small reptiles in West Bend home
While investigating allegations of false imprisonment and sexual assault in Washington and Walworth Counties, authorities in West Bend found more than what they were looking for.
On May 31, officers from both West Bend and East Troy were investigating the imprisonment and sexual assault claims when officers from West Bend discovered hundreds of snakes, frogs, lizards and mice in a home on S. Indiana Avenue. They were tipped off to the animals by the foul odor coming from the basement of the home.
The next day, West Bend Officers, employees of the West Bend Public Works, Building Inspection, Building Maintenance, the Milwaukee County Zoo and wardens from the Wisconsin DNR served an inspection warrant on the residence. Inside they discovered and removed 160 snakes, ranging in size from six inches to two feet in length. More than 250 mice were also removed, as well as Dart Frogs and Gecko’s. Offices found some of the animals to be in poor health, while others had died. The Building Inspectors also noted several health and safety code violations in the home.
A 42-year-old man was arrested and is facing both criminal charges and civil code violations. He is currently being held in the Walworth County Jail.