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16 July 2018, 16:39 | Updated: 16 July 2018, 16:43
The RSPCA are trying to work out what happened to two snakes found dumped in Fraddon.
Both of the corn snakes were discovered with burn injuries.
RSPCA exotics officer Peter Ferris said: ''We would like to hear from anyone who can shed any light on what happened or how the snakes came to be dumped in such a terrible state. Anyone with information can call our appeal line on 0300 123 8018.
''I attended a static home park near Fraddon after a gentleman was walking his dog along a country lane and found one of the snakes in a pillowcase on June 21.
''The snake was taken to a vet and we were amazed at the state of the snake, burns throughout its whole body. It is sickening, upsetting and frustrating that someone could do this. The snake sadly had to be put to sleep straight away to stop any more suffering.
''Sadly this was the second snake to be discovered in the area, the first was collected earlier the same week and it also had some substance over its body. ''That snake thankfully survived and has been treated at a veterinary hospital and has now recovered. ''Unfortunately the number of calls we receive about reptiles - including snakes - has increased 20% in 5 years.
''Many people do not realise what they are taking on when they buy these pets so we are urging prospective buyers to do their research before getting one.
''Although these beautiful animals may look quite hardy, snakes kept as pets are actually completely dependent on their owners. They need to be provided with the correct accommodation, heating, lighting and food for the particular species, all of which must replicate their wild habitat as closely as possible to keep them healthy and allow them to carry out their natural behaviour.
''Without proper care they can suffer from serious diseases, dehydration, injuries, parasites, and in severe cases or if left untreated, they can eventually die. "Sadly the RSPCA is experiencing widespread neglect of reptiles and we are finding more and more are coming into our care.
''The main thing we want to stress to people who are thinking about bringing an exotic pet into their family is to research the needs of the animal thoroughly and make sure that you can provide everything that animal needs for the animal's entire life.''
In 2017 1,680 reptiles were collected by RSPCA officers. 392 (23 percent) of these were due to abandonment. 792 snakes were collected by the RSPCA's officers in 2017.