DADE CITY — Police Capt. David Duff peered in the window of the abandoned house and recoiled, the stench overwhelming him. The occupants were long gone, but they left their pets: two dogs and three snakes.
The Dade City Police Department was contacted when a 5 foot, 9 inch boa constrictor escaped and was found on a neighbor's front porch. When police and Pasco Animal Control officers came to rescue the animals on Nov. 9, they found that someone had gotten into the house just before they arrived and taken one dog and a snake, Duff said.
The person left behind a chihuahua mix and a sickly snake without food or water, Duff said.
The dog's ribs showed and he had mange on his back.
"He was a little bitty thing," Duff said. He said he was told the snake might have to be euthanized.
The house at 38101 Countryside Place had no water or electricity and the inside was covered with dog feces and urine.
The pet owner, Jessica Williams, was arrested Wednesday. She is charged with cruelty to animals. Williams, 20, was released that same day on $5,000 bail.
The dog and snake were taken for emergency treatment by Pasco County Animal Control. Their condition was not available Thursday.
This house was also in the news in August. Williams and her husband, Shane, 21, argued about him not having a job and fought and bit each other, authorities said. When police officers arrived on the scene, they found cockroaches, animal feces, soiled diapers, drugs, knives and a pipe bomb inside the home — along with the couple's children, who were then 2 years old and 7 months old, a report states.
The pipe bomb, which was in a dresser drawer in the master bedroom, was disarmed by the Tampa Bomb Squad, the report said. Shane Williams fled the scene, authorities said.
Jessica Williams was arrested then on two counts of child neglect, domestic battery, and possession of methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. She was released from jail the next day.
Shane Williams was found and faced the same charges along with having an explosive device. He spent more than a month in jail.
Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. Erin Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6229.