The RSPCA is appealing for information after nine snakes were dumped outside a vets in Frome, Somerset.
The animal welfare charity was alerted after the reptiles were dumped in the early hours of Saturday morning (17th).
The snakes – all corn snakes – were dumped in a plastic box. They have been collected by the RSPCA and are now in private boarding.
RSPCA inspector Hayley Lawrence said: “All of the snakes are in reasonable condition despite being dehydrated.
“It is never acceptable to dump an animal. If people are struggling to look after their pets, there are many charities and organisations who are able to help.
“Reptiles have very specific needs such as heating and it is lucky these snakes were found when they were. We are urging anyone with information about this incident to contact us on 0300 123 8018.”
If no owner comes forward in the next 14 days, the snakes will be put up for rehoming.
Reptiles are ectothermic so they rely on their environment to maintain their body temperature. If a reptile becomes too cold they may be unable to feed or move normally and their immune system will not work properly to fight disease, meaning the animal can become very ill.
In 2018, the number of abandoned reptiles collected by RSPCA officers was 298 (21% of total reptile collections). Abandoning a reptile or releasing unwanted exotic pets into the wild is cruel and illegal.
The RSPCA urges anyone thinking of taking on a pet to properly research the species first. For more information about keeping reptiles as pets please see our website.