CARLE PLACE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — More than 100 reptiles were found hopping, crawling and slithering around a house in Nassau County Monday.

As CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported, many of the animals are banned in New York state and are considered extremely dangerous.

The block of 11th Street in Carle Place where the discovery happened is quiet outside. But inside one house, investigators said they found the assortment of reptiles – many of which the Nassau County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals noted are illegal to own.

The SPCA on Monday afternoon brought out a baby alligator that had its mouth taped shut as a precaution. There were also dozens of turtles in the basement in what investigators called “horrendous conditions.”

“They’re in pretty bad shape,” Michael Ralbovsky from RSS Oasis Animal Sanctuary said.

So bad, in fact, that at least ten of the more than 100 reptiles found were dead including two snakes, an iguana and a lizard known as a blue tongued skink.

“There was stench from decomposing animals plus he had reptiles that aren’t allowed even in the United States,” Nassau County SPCA’s Gary Rogers told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall.

Police did take one resident into custody Monday afternoon. Christopher Koenig, 20, was led out of the house in handcuffs and charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and failure to give food and drink, Nassau County police said.

“If you’re not taking care of them and you’re abusing them, then why would you have a hundred of them? It doesn’t make sense,” Ralbovsky said.

Some of his turtles were found swimming in an inflatable backyard pool. Some very large snakes were also found, including a potentially deadly boa constrictor which wrapped itself around an investigator’s arm Monday and started squeezing, showing just how dangerous they can be.

The town of North Hempstead does not allow snakes as pets in residential areas, including the neighborhood full of kids.

“It could hurt one of these small children. It could kill a pet. You’re not supposed to have this,” said Nassau County SPCA Detective Gary Rogers. “That’s why the state has ruled that these animals aren’t allowed in New York state.”

Along with all the reptiles, authorities also found three dogs, a cat, a rabbit and several fish including two striped bass and two bluegills which are illegal to keep.

“We knew they had a couple dogs but that’s it,” neighbor Trudy Mammina said, adding the family simply loves animals.

“I wouldn’t for a minute think that any one of them were abused, I think they would have been taken care of properly just knowing the family,” she tells CBS2.

Investigators say they only discovered the reptiles when the family reported a break-in at the house over the weekend. The creatures are now being treated at an animal sanctuary in Massachusetts.

Comments (8)
  1. Now that I’ve read about the rat problems at NYC schools and snakes in a NYC habitat, my day is complete for confirming why I sneer with utter contempt for your progressive ghetto.

  2. Beth Fortner says:

    But burmese pythons aren’t illegal to own in the US. And most looked to be in fine condition. Where did y’all get your info?

  3. John Botten says:

    “Some very large snakes were also found, including a potentially deadly boa constrictor which wrapped itself around an investigator’s arm Monday and started squeezing, showing just how dangerous they can be.”

    Whoever wrote this is an idiot. This “reporter” had no business writing this article.

    1. David Chance says:

      agreed ,and CBS has no business existing …ha ha ha

  4. David Becker says:

    These idiots have absolutely zero idea what they’re talking about. They can’t get something as simple as the species of the animal correct. A ball python is not a boa constrictor, and of course it was wrapped around his arm…he was holding it by the head making it feel threatened. And whyyyyy did he need help removing it? Because he had no earthly clue what he was doing with it. This is nothing more than infuriating, uninformed fear mongering. No, they are not a danger to the children playing outside. These kind of reports are beyond ignorant.

  5. Frank Fisher says:

    Complete BS, everyone of those reptiles looked healthy in the video, maybe sick ones were being rehabilitated, just state the facts, news is not news anymore.

  6. The title sounded like the US Senate was up to something again…

  7. Ram Hoek says:

    hysterical hogwash, just another hoarder story in a nice neighborhood. if that moron thinks a ball python is dangerous he is in the wrong line of business. and tatoo guy just doesn’t know how to hold a snake so shouldn’t: again, if he is afraid or needs help with a 5 foot snake he should stay home in his nighty. the posing and sensationalism evident in this piece makes me doubt some of the pix (like the snake and rat in the tupperware box: easy enough to pull stuff out of a freezer for an incriminating pic).

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