Dubuque police found hundreds of snakes in a home this week after complaints prompted them to do a search. The majority of those snakes are perfectly legal, but six are not. And now, the couple that owns them has a court date. Linda Merfeld and Bill Shaffer care for more than three hundred snakes in their home. But, the couple recently made a mistake when they took in six illegal snakes. Now, the city of Dubuque is pressing charges.
Merfeld says they had no intention of keeping the illegal snakes. She says, " We weren’t supposed to have them. It’s just a mistake, we shouldn’t have taken them to begin with." Both insist the confiscated snakes were not dangerous. Now, they’re just trying to get past everything that happened. Shaffer and Merfeld travel around the country, trading and selling their snakes. But, they say they support the animals. The animals do not support them. They promise they’ll never let another illegal snake sneak into their collection again.
Dubuque does not limit the number of snakes a person can own. The couple will appear in court next month to face charges for those illegal animals.