Alleged Hoarder Due in Court After Hundreds of Snakes Found in Home

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A court date was announced on Friday for an elementary school teacher who was arrested after hundreds of snakes, many of them dead, were found in his Santa Ana home in January.


William Buchman was booked for animal cruelty after police found hundreds of snakes, many dead, at his Santa Ana home on Jan. 29, 2014. (Credit: KTLA/Santa Ana Police Department)

William Frederick Buchman, 53, was due in court Monday morning for arraignment on one felony count of animal abuse by a caretaker, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday.

He was accused of “hoarding and improperly housing” hundreds of snakes, the DA’s office stated.

Santa Ana police responded to Buchman’s home on Jan. 29 after neighbors complained about a foul, nauseating smell coming from the home.

Neighbors said at the time of the arrest that they had noticed the smell about six months before the home was raided. Police described the home as “unbelievable,” with rotting food, bottles of human urine on the floor and rodents feces all over.

Buchman, a teacher in the Newport Beach school district, was accused of hoarding more than 400 ball pythons in the home and failing to property care for them, the DA’s office stated.

Some 240 of the snakes were dead and decomposing, the DA’s office said and video from the home showed.

More than 180 snakes were alive but malnourished, dehydrated and “covered with mites and/or maggots,” and 20 of them died after being impounded, the DA’s office stated.

Hundreds of mice, used as food for the snakes, were in the house as well.

The remaining 162 were treated and released to Southern California animal rescue groups.

Buchman was out of custody on his own recognizance.