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Dade City snake owner charged with animal cruelty

DADE CITY — A second person has been charged with cruelty to animals stemming from a November case in which a Yorkshire terrier mix, two red-tail boas, three frogs and three goldfish were left in an abandoned home with no food or water, authorities said.

John Z. Suber, 19, of Dade City, was arrested Thursday on a charge of animal cruelty. The Dade City Police Department said Suber left a sickly, emaciated snake in a tank full of feces at his sister's house at 38101 Countryside Place — a home without electricity or running water.

The snake was too ill to recover and was euthanized, a report states.

Another snake — a healthy 6-foot, 9-inch red-tail boa — escaped and slithered into a neighbor's yard, reports state. Officers found other animals in the house when they tried to find the owner of the escaped snake, prompting the animal cruelty investigation, authorities said.

Suber's sister, Jessica M. Williams, 21, was arrested on a charge of cruelty to animals in November. The rescued animals were taken to Pasco animal control to recover and possibly be adopted. Their updated conditions were not available Friday.

Officers also responded to the house in August when Williams and her husband, Shane, 21, argued because he didn't have a job and bit each other, authorities said. When officers arrived, they found cockroaches, feces, soiled diapers, drugs, knives and a pipe bomb inside the home — along with the couple's children, who were 2 years old and 7 months old at the time, reports stated. The bomb, which was in a dresser drawer in the master bedroom, was disarmed by the Tampa Bomb Squad.

Jessica Williams was arrested on two counts of child neglect, domestic battery and possession of methamphetamines, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. She was released and arrested again in November on the cruelty to animals charge. Shane Williams faced the same battery and drug charges, along with having an explosive device. He was not charged with animal cruelty.

The status of the couple's children was not available.

Suber remained Friday at the Pasco County jail in lieu of $1,000 bail.

Erin Sullivan can be reached at or (727) 869-6229.

Dade City snake owner charged with animal cruelty 04/09/10 [Last modified: Friday, April 9, 2010 9:50pm]
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