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Police Find 400+ Snakes In House, Say Teacher Hoarded Them

A California teacher hoarded more than 400 snakes and rodents. Police found live and dead snakes piled in cages as well as cannibal rodents.
Posted at 12:30 PM, Jan 30, 2014

​A California 6th grade teacher has been charged with animal cruelty after police found he was hoarding hundreds of mice, rats and snakes in his home.

Fifty-three-year-old William Buchman is now in custody after investigators found more than 400 snakes inside stacked floor-to-ceiling in cages. Officials also located about 50 rats and mice roaming Buchman's house. (Via KCBS)

The Los Angeles Times reports Buchman was a snake breeder. Police raided his home after receiving reports over the past year from neighbors complaining of a foul smell.

"The stench is overwhelming (FLASH) What's that smell? I was like, 'It smells like something's dead.'" (Via KTVK)

KABC reports the animals had not been cared for — half the snakes were dead and the rodents became cannibals. According to investigators, Buchman started hoarding the animals after his mother passed away in 2011.

It took investigators more than an hour to clear just one room of the house. They say the snakes were kept in four of the five bedrooms.

As for his students, the Orange County Register reports one thought Buchman "seemed normal but creepy," because he would reportedly bring snakes into the classroom. 

And the live animals — they have been transported to a veterinarian hospital where they are receiving treatment and will be given to new homes, zoos and schools. (Via KNBC)

Police are also investigating whether Buchman had been breeding the snakes without a license.