Janesville32.3°

Animal menagerie found in Janesville apartment

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Catherine W. Idzerda
July 1, 2009
— Six chickens, 13 rabbits, two ball pythons, two dogs, one cat, a snapping turtle, several cages of mice and rats and a native snake of unknown origin.

That's quite a menagerie for two people in one apartment and a garage on Memorial Avenue in Janesville.


On Monday, Janesville Police and the Rock County Humane Society rounded up some of those animals and asked the homeowner to find new homes for the remaining animals—with the exception of the dogs and the cat.


Humane society officers responded to a complaint about a dog being tied to a second-story balcony, said Angela Rhodes, humane society executive director.


When it turned out to be a bigger problem than just a dog on a balcony, the humane society requested police assistance.


The ball pythons, the smaller snake and the snapping turtle have found temporary living quarters at the Rock County Humane Society, Rhodes said.


The animals were well cared for, but it's against city ordinances to keep ball pythons as pets; the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources frowns on keeping native species.


"The pythons will probably be sent to a serpent sanctuary or reputable rescue organization," Rhodes said.


Either the DNR or the humane society will re-release the other snake and the turtle into the wild.


As for the remaining 22 animals—and the mice and the rats—the police and the humane society are giving the owners time to find them new homes.


If the owners can't find homes for them, the remaining critters will end up at the humane society.


Rhodes speculated that most of the small animals were not exactly pets.


The mice and rats were probably food for the snakes.


"The rabbits were not pets; they were for food or resale," Rhodes said.


The reason for keeping the chickens was "sketchy," she said.


The animals' owners were not cited, but the humane society's investigation of the situation is on going, said Sgt. Chad Pearson of the Janesville Police Department.



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