A WOMAN has been banned from keeping animals for five years after two dead anorexic corn snakes were found in her home.
The reptiles had not eaten for four months when they were discovered by a landlord at a property in Low Moor, Bradford and Keighley Magistrates' Court heard yesterday.
Megan Riley was a tenant of a home in Fields Road, but had not there lived full-time for several weeks and notices for her to move out had been served by her letting agency.
It was her landlord who visited the home and found the snakes' lifeless bodies in a tank without water.
Riley, who now lives in Caygills Terrace, Halifax, had read online that snakes "could go a period of time without eating".
She took this advice on board and they were not fed until they were discovered dead in their tank on February 23 this year after a call from her landlord was made to the RSPCA.
She pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to ensure the welfare of the snakes, including failing to identifying the causes of the anorexia, and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal under the Animal Welfare Act.
The latter charge related to her failing to investigate and getting veterinary treatment for the snakes' poor body condition, weight loss and failure to eat.
Nigel Monaghan, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: "They were clearly emaciated. These snakes would have been suffering and any responsible person should have got veterinary treatment.
"The snakes had stopped eating in November 2013. No veterinary treatment between then and the time they died was sought.
"The defendant, when interviewed, had not been attending the property regularly due to financial issues and shift work.
"The deaths were consistent with not being fed. The spine was prominent down the entire length of the snake.
"Cats she had there as well were re-housed to a neighbour."
Riley, who was not represented by a solicitor in court, said in the dock: "I'm totally ashamed of myself.
"I did as much as I could have done. I got into debt and I was not there as frequently as I should have been."
The 23-year-old was also ordered to complete 80 hours unpaid work in the community and pay £800 costs.