THE OWNERS of a dead snake have accused the police of animal cruelty after officers discovered the escaped reptile in a Coventry car park.
As we reported, the snake was found yesterday (April 24) in the car park of Halfords on Foleshill Road, Foleshill, Coventry.
The family has issued a series of posts on the Bedworth Community Forum on Facebook.
They claimed the snake was their sister’s pet of 10 years, and they are appalled at the way ‘trophy’ images of the large yellow rat snake were uploaded by the police.
Police posed for pictures with the snake which the family claims was very unwell and needed urgent attention at the time.
The officers said on Twitter they had ‘rescued’ the snake and taken it to a nearby reptile shop to ‘get it warmed up.’
But on Facebook Pia Watts states: “This is Foleshill Police’s Twitter post after ‘rescuing’ the snake.
“They refuse to take the trophy photos down. Where the snake is clearly dead/needing urgent veterinary care.
“They’ve also told us this morning that he isn’t dead… before swiftly removing their reply. He is dead.
“And now my sister has to collect him this afternoon to put him to rest after having him for 10 years.
“He has puncture wounds and a broken jaw in this photo.”
Another family member Sian Bishop on Facebook said: “It is animal cruelty on the police’s behalf.
“To put it in perspective if it was a sick dog or cat this would not have happened under any circumstance.”
A West Midlands Police spokesperson said: “Officers were called to the car park at Halfords in Foleshill Road, Coventry, yesterday (April 24) after a snake had been found by a member of the public.
“The snake was taken to a local reptile centre that had specialist equipment to care for the snake.
“There, officers took photos of the snake to share on Twitter in the hope that the owners would come forward.
“It was agreed with the reptile centre that the snake would stay there so that it could be looked after.
“Sadly, we understand that the snake later died.”
Foleshill Police Twitter posted yesterday alongside the pictures: “Never a dull day in Foleshill! This snake was rescued from Halfords car park this morning and taken to a local reptile shop to get it warmed up. Any idea on species, tweeps?”