Python found slithering inside Florida home

An Orange County man was shocked to find a 4-foot python slithering in his pantry Tuesday morning.

Orange County Fire Rescue said it was called to a home in the 11000 block of Stamfield Drive, near Central Florida Parkway and International Drive in Orlando.

Homeowner Lenny Lichtman said the snake did not belong to him. He said he has no idea how the snake got into his pantry.

“My heart was in my stomach, I thought I was going to catch a stroke or a heart attack. It was pounding,” Lichtman said.

When he saw the snake coiled up, he immediately called 911. 

Orange County Rescue was the first to show up, they recognized the snake as a python and asked Lichtman to hand them a pillowcase.

“They dumped it in the pillowcase and they walked out the door like Santa Claus with a bag of toys with a snake in it, put it on a truck and they left,” Lichtman said.

Pythons are not venomous, but they have a sharp bite. The snakes are an invasive species in Florida, where they are blamed for decimating populations of native mammals.

Officials said the snake was likely a pet that escaped.

Lichtman wasn’t injured, but he said the incident has left him rattled.

“I’m scared to even walk in my garage right now, I am,” Lichtman said.

Orange County Fire Rescue officials told News 6 that they tried to contact FWC, but no one answered, and animal services told them they couldn’t rescue the snake, so an OCFR crew member got the snake himself and dropped it off at Gatorland.

Chris Sears, a snake expert, got a closer look at the python once it arrived at Gatorland.

Sears said the snake is a ball python and believes it’s a female because of its size. Male ball pythons are usually 2 to 3-feet long.

Gatorland officials said the python was nice and calm, which made them think it was someone’s pet and they abandoned it. The snake was scanned for a microchip to see who it might have belonged to, but it didn’t have one, Sears said.

Sears said Gatorland plans to keep the snake for educational purposes after it is checked out by their vet and quarantined for about 10 days for health purposes.

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2 horses stolen from Hialeah ranch

Two horses were reported stolen Friday morning from a ranch in Hialeah.

The South Florida Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said in a news release that the horses were discovered missing at 6:30 a.m. from the ranch at 16480 NW 117th Ave.

One of the horses is a chestnut Quarter Horse mare and the other is a bay Paso Fino gelding.

Caretaker Yamil Gonzalez told the South Florida SPCA that that a portion of the property’s fencing was cut, indicating foul play.

“I don’t understand why these two were taken. There were five other horses in the barn. Someone just walked in and chose those two and took them out of their stalls. There were two others outside they walked past,” Gonzalez said.

One horse owner told Local 10 News that he is worried for his animal.

“My main concern is that I really don’t want to see the horse end up as meat on someone’s table,” George Martinez said. “These horses are not bred for eating. These horses are highly maintained. They take shots for west nile, so human consumption is not proper for these horses.”

The South Florida SPCA is working with Gonzalez and the Miami-Dade Agricultural Patrol to help find the horses.

“This is a horrible situation for the owners and those who care for these horses. We strongly urge the public to call with any information they have,” South Florida SPCA horse rescue president Kathleen Monahan said.

Another horse was reported missing May 5 from southwest Miami-Dade.

Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to call the Miami-Dade Police Agricultural Unit at 786-218-8344.

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Hialeah man accused of hanging neighbor’s cat on wooden fence

A Hialeah man was arrested Wednesday after he tortured and killed his neighbor’s cat, authorities said.

According to an arrest report, the victim called 911 after finding the mutilated remains of the cat hanging from a wooden fence.

Police said the cat had a tight rope fastened around its neck, its stomach was slit from the middle to the tail and its left paw was severed.

Detectives questioned the victim’s neighbor, Eduard Rodriguez-Monteagudo, 20, who confessed to luring the animal to his home, police said.

Authorities said Rodriguez-Monteagudo said that he was smoking a cigarette outside his home at about 3 a.m. Wednesday when the victim’s cat walked into his yard.

He said he lured the cat into his bedroom and played with it.

Police said Rodriguez-Monteagudo told them that he then became upset at the cat. The remainder of the discussion with police was redacted from the arrest report.

The suspect was arrested on a charge of animal cruelty with the intent to injure or kill.

Rodriguez-Monteagudo spoke to Local 10 News reporter Carlos Suarez after he bonded out of jail.

He claimed that he tried to kill the cat, but then “couldn’t go through with it.”

“He didn’t chicken out because what we saw back there was a pretty gruesome sight,” the cat’s owner, Eddie Martinez, said.

Rodriguez-Monteagudo told Suarez that he tied something around the cat’s neck and then let it go. He claimed that he never cut the cat and that it hanged itself.

When asked what the cat did to make him tie something around the cat’s neck to harm it, Rodriguez-Monteagudo said: “Literally, nothing.”

The man told Suarez that his own insecurities caused him to hurt the animal.

“For once in my life, I pretty much have everything and I’ve never accomplished anything in this world,” Rodriguez-Monteagudo said. “And I tried to and I couldn’t even pull through it because I’m a ‘expletive.'”                                                                                                                       

The cat’s owner told Local 10 News that the cat was named Boo and was 5 years old.

Hialeah police said Rodriguez-Monteagudo was recently hospitalized under Florida’s Baker Act for trying to cut off his genitals.

When asked if he would be willing to get help, Rodriguez-Monteagudo said: “Yes, but for other issues not relating to this.”

Rodriguez-Monteagudo’s father told Local 10 News that he was disturbed by the allegations against his son.

 

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Hialeah man accused of hanging neighbor’s cat on wooden fence

A Hialeah man was arrested Wednesday after he tortured and killed his neighbor’s cat, authorities said.

According to an arrest report, the victim called 911 after finding the mutilated remains of the cat hanging from a wooden fence.

Police said the cat had a tight rope fastened around its neck, its stomach was slit from the middle to the tail and its left paw was severed.

Detectives questioned the victim’s neighbor, Eduard Rodriguez-Monteagudo, 20, who confessed to luring the animal to his home, police said.

Authorities said Rodriguez-Monteagudo said that he was smoking a cigarette outside his home at about 3 a.m. Wednesday when the victim’s cat walked into his yard.

He said he lured the cat into his bedroom and played with it.

Police said Rodriguez-Monteagudo told them that he then became upset at the cat. The remainder of the discussion with police was redacted from the arrest report.

The suspect was arrested on a charge of animal cruelty with the intent to injure or kill.

Rodriguez-Monteagudo spoke to Local 10 News reporter Carlos Suarez after he bonded out of jail.

He claimed that he tried to kill the cat, but then “couldn’t go through with it.”

“He didn’t chicken out because what we saw back there was a pretty gruesome sight,” the cat’s owner, Eddie Martinez, said.

Rodriguez-Monteagudo told Suarez that he tied something around the cat’s neck and then let it go. He claimed that he never cut the cat and that it hanged itself.

When asked what the cat did to make him tie something around the cat’s neck to harm it, Rodriguez-Monteagudo said: “Literally, nothing.”

The man told Suarez that his own insecurities caused him to hurt the animal.

“For once in my life, I pretty much have everything and I’ve never accomplished anything in this world,” Rodriguez-Monteagudo said. “And I tried to and I couldn’t even pull through it because I’m a ‘expletive.'”                                                                                                                       

The cat’s owner told Local 10 News that the cat was named Boo and was 5 years old.

Hialeah police said Rodriguez-Monteagudo was recently hospitalized under Florida’s Baker Act for trying to cut off his genitals.

When asked if he would be willing to get help, Rodriguez-Monteagudo said: “Yes, but for other issues not relating to this.”

Rodriguez-Monteagudo’s father told Local 10 News that he was disturbed by the allegations against his son.

 

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Good Samaritan, microchip, luck help missing dog reunite with owner

A microchip and a good Samaritan are credited with helping reunite a missing dog with its owner.

Daisy, the dog, had been missing since Valentine’s Day. 

That’s when Lynn Wainman returned to her Hollywood home to find the place had been ransacked. She said her jewelry was gone but her main concern was her dog, Daisy.

Wainman said she adopted Daisy from the shelter more than seven years ago and added the dog needed her medication to treat a severe skin condition among other things.

Months later, a good Samaritan said she saw the dog on the street in North Miami Beach and began the search for its owner using the dog’s microchip, which still had the previous owner’s information on it.

The good Samaritan didn’t give up though and managed to track down Wainman’s phone number.

On Wednesday the reunion happened. 

“I feel very excited because she’s back home and I know she’s going to be around people who love her and who are going to care about her,” Joceline Paria, the good Samaritan, said. 

The dog was in need of medication and treatment. The vet had to shave her down. 

The residential burglary is still under investigation but Wainman is just thrilled her pup has been found. 

“It’s refreshing to know that there are wonderful people out there that take care of animals and that are good and caring instead of hearing all the terrible stories about the animal abuse so I so appreciate her taking such good care of my dog,” she said. 

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