An investigation into a 911 hang-up call led to the arrest of a Richmondville man for leaving two dogs and three snakes without food or water in a Cobleskill trailer, according to police.
Timothy R. LaPlant, 21, of Richmondville was charged Friday evening with five counts of animal neglect under the Agriculture and Markets Law for failure to provide food and water. The charges are misdemeanors.
Also, this is the second time in four months the same two dogs were found in poor condition.
Police were called to a home on Shad Point Road in the Town of Cobleskill Thursday to follow-up on a 911 hang-up call, said Sheriff Tony Desmond.
Neighbors asked deputies to check on several animals left in a nearby rental trailer. The neighbors said they had fed the animals since the owner left.
The person making the 911 call said the dogs were chained to the outside of the trailer.
Upon entering the trailer, police found two dogs, a two-year-old red-nose pitbull and a five-month old coonhound. They also found three snakes, a Columbia Red Tail boa, a South African boa constrictor and a bull python.
The snakes, found in feces-filled tanks, were so thin, Sheriff Desmond said, that one of them looked like a belt because it was so flat.
The snakes were aggressive when found, snapping when deputies reached out, he said.
Deputies took the animals to the Schoharie Valley Animal Shelter to be examined, and they also called a reptile expert from SUNY Cobleskill, Sheriff Desmond said.
The snakes were nourished with a mixture of Gatorade and water for an hour and fed mice and rats, he said.
The snakes were ice cold when they arrived at the shelter, said manager Kerrie Colin, adding that subtropical snakes should be kept between 80 and 90 degrees.
The snakes were underweight and extremely dehydrated when they arrived but are now doing much better, she said.
The pitbull, named Capone and the coonhound, named Maisey, are doing well and gaining weight, Ms. Colin said.
The future of the animals is uncertain.
If the judge says Mr. LaPlant cannot have custody of the animals, the snakes will be sent to a reptile sanctuary, Ms. Colin said, and the dogs will be put up for adoption.
This is the second time there has been concern for the dogs.
In June, the same two dogs were found locked inside a hot storage locker on MacArthur Avenue.
Sheriff Desmond said he believed Mr. LaPlant owned the dogs in June as well, but no charges were filed at that time.
Mr. LaPlant was issued an appearance ticket in the latest incident and is to return to Cobleskill town court at a later date, police said.
Mr. LaPlant adopted at least one of the dogs from the Animal Shelter, Sheriff Desmond said.
Pictures of the animals can be viewed on the Animal Shelter's Facebook page.