Snake hoarder sentenced to 100 hours of community service

Snake hoarder sentenced to 100 hours of community service

A Southern California man was sentenced to 100 hours of community service for failing to provide proper care to hundreds of snakes that he kept at his home.

William Buchman, 53, pleaded guilty in Orange County. Entering the misdemeanor plea, he admitted that he had 400 snakes in his home, and that many of them were dead or dying as he didn't act to save them.

In addition to community service sentence, Buchman was banned from keeping any pet for five years and to pay $17,000 in restitution for animal care.

Buchman's attorney, Paul Meyer, said, "Mr. Buchman suffered a severe depression after the long terminal illness and death of his mother. The depression paralyzed him and he tragically neglected the reptiles which had been a family hobby."

He was arrested in January this year, after neighbors reported about an evil smell at his Santa Ana home. When searched, police discovered nearly 280 dead or dying pythons and more than 120 live pythons.

The front four rooms of his home were packed with snake bins. While many of the dead snakes were little more than skeletons, many others were covered with maggots and flies. In addition, there was an infestation of mice and rats that had been kept as food for snakes.

Initially, he was charged with felony animal abuse, for which he could potential be slapped with three-year prison term.

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