snakeMaybe this story wouldn't seem as troubling if I hadn't just read about the mom who stopped a python from eating her 2-year-old in the nick of time. Now with that story, the mom was totally innocent -- the snake was native to the area and got inside her house, so it's just one of those flukes. But not so in this recent, disturbing scene out of Florida that police uncovered when they searched the home of a 16-month-old in Florida who was reported missing

The good news was the child wasn't really missing in the sense that we always fear. The parents had told police that she crawled out of her crib while they were "sleeping," opened the front door, and wandered off. And by sleeping I mean "drunk" -- according to police. Turns out, the child was with a relative who had stopped by to check on the baby and discovered her crying. I'm not sure why the relative thought just taking the child without trying to rouse the parents or at least leaving a note was the best idea, but desperate times call for desperate measures. If what police found when they went to the house is any indication, there are some messed up things happening in this house. Namely 300 animals! Some of them dead.

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Yes, rats, hamsters, lizards, and ... snakes. All being bred and sold without a license, and living in deplorable conditions that caused police to charge the woman and her boyfriend with animal cruelty, on top of a child abuse charge. News footage shows police carting out crates of rabbits and aquariums packed with rats. I'm not a fan of rats, but seeing those animals packed into that container like sardines is disturbing and sad.

The mother's mom -- whose house it was -- said the rats and rabbits just kept breeding like crazy, and she had been trying to get her daughter and her boyfriend to get rid of the animals for some time. And if you have ever raised rabbits and other rodents before, you know that they have their own gruesome method of population control -- eating their babies. I would be totally surprised that there wasn't plenty of that going on based on the description of the house.

This poor 16-month-old! Thank goodness someone got her out in time. I'm just not sure why the owner of the house, the relative, friends, or neighbors who knew about the animals hadn't called police before this, but at least it happened before something really awful happened to that child. Never thought I'd say this but thank goodness the couple passed out drunk when they did, or the series of events could have been much, much worse.

 

Image via TheChanel/Flickr