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Griswold house has 300 snakes

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Posted by: EricWI at Thu May 24 10:24:09 2012  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by EricWI ]  
   

Griswold house has 300 snakes
Griswold, Conn. —

Lawyers are getting involved in the ongoing case of a home snake breeder whose 300 snakes have generated complaints.

Randy LaPorte, the homeowner at 71 E. Main St., where the snakes are being kept, was issued a cease-and-desist order April 12 by building inspector Peter Zvingilas for running a snake-breeding business out of his home without a permit.

LaPorte has not complied with the order, First Selectman Philip Anthony said, so this week, the matter was turned over to the town’s zoning attorney, Mike Carey, of Suisman and Shapiro in New London.

Carey could not be reached Wednesday for comment. No one answered the door at 71 E. Main St. on Wednesday, and a phone number listed for LaPorte at that address is not in service.

Anthony said the attorney will do what he has to do to rectify the situation, even if that means removing the snakes. Fines are possible as well.

The April 12 cease-and-desist order does not focus on the snakes, but on the business. A zoning permit is required to have a business in a residential zone, Zvingilas said. The order tells LaPorte to stop selling his snakes.

Zvingilas said the town’s public health and safety committee and the state Department of Agriculture, which manages animal control for the state, are getting involved now.

Uncas Health District officials and the town’s building department have been investigating the house since mid-March, when an anonymous complaint was filed about the snakes. The complaint said the snakes were being kept in the basement, while rats to feed the snakes were being bred and raised in the garage, giving off a “foul and overpowering” odor.

Health inspection

A health inspection 24 hours after the complaint was filed recommended sanitary changes but did not recommend removing the snakes and rodents.

The snakes being kept in the basement were “clean and organized,” Uncas Health District Sanitarian Albert Gosselin wrote after a March 30 inspection. He wrote that the feed grain for the mice and rats in the garage needed to be stored in metal bins, and the area needed additional cleaning and ventilation.

A follow-up was not done because no one was home April 12 for the inspection. The cease-and-desist order was issued by the building department the same day.

LaPorte has been running a snake-breeding business for at least seven years.
Carol Mauro, who lives across the street from LaPorte on East Main Street, said her son purchased a ball python from LaPorte.

“I knew what he was doing, but not (about) the lack of permits,” Mauro said.
In 2010, LaPorte presented his wares at Massachusetts’ first Reptile Expo in Rockland, Mass.

He told a local newspaper covering the expo that the puzzle-back yellow-bellied snake he had brought with him from his Jewett City shop, the East Coast Reptile Exchange, was one of a kind, and the product of a five-year breeding program. Its price: $28,000. He told the paper he planned to produce more of the unique snakes the following year.
www.norwichbulletin.com/news/x358794991/Griswold-house-has-300-snakes#axzz1vnhvQRrb


   

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