GRISWOLD, Conn. (WTNH) --A snake breeder who keeps hundreds of snakes in his basement is ignoring complaints and safety concerns coming from his neighbors and other town officials.
Randy LaPorte has 300 snakes of various species in his basement which he keeps in boxes and sells as pets.
"Oh I don't like that at all. Not at all," said Minew Pepin of Griswold.
Most of LaPorte's neighbors shared a similar reaction when they found out what LaPorte had going on in the basement of his East Main Street home.
"I'm like are you are you, wow there's a hundred snakes? How do you take care of that many snakes?" asked Blaine Jacob.
"I don't like snakes, but they're not roaming around, so if that's what they want to do," said Pauline Dupont.
LaPorte runs East Coast Reptile Exchange, but he doesn't have a permit to raise and sell snakes.
The town of Griswold got involved because one of LaPorte's neighbors complained about a foul and overpowering odor coming from the garage. That's reportedly where the mice and rats are raised to feed the snakes.
The first selectman, Phil Anthony, said he's heard many complaints. The town has issued a cease and desist order.
"To date he's not cooperating," Anthony said.
LaPorte could face fines and will have to apply for a permit, so he can legally raise and sell snakes.
"The worst scenario, the snakes will be removed forcibly because it is a safety and health issue," said Anthony.
"As long as he has the permits and as long as he has them in a safe place where they are not getting out then I would be totally for it," said Jacob.
Several state agencies may now get involved.
A representative from the DEEP will be at an upcoming Griswold town meeting. The snake breeding situation will be addressed.
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