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“This is the grossest form of negligence,” Exotic pets left to die in abandoned storage unit

EL RENO, Okla. - A team of animal rescuers came together to save a dozen pets found abandoned in a storage unit.

Larry Hodges, the owner of Plaza 66 Storage in El Reno, thought he'd seen it all.

"You cannot believe what you are liable to find in a storage unit," Hodges said. "Never ever. We have never had any type of an animal left behind."

Hodges said he was cleaning out unit 537 because a renter was four months behind on payments when he made a surprising discovery.

Inside the storage unit, Hodges found 10 terrariums of snakes.

"He moved them in, and he never came back," said Kayla Cortez, who keeps the books for Route 66 Storage. "He never made a single payment, and he never came back."

The exotic pets had been abandoned for months with no food, no water and no heat, which they need to survive.

Snake rescue specialist Tandy Keenan drove all the way from Woodward to help.

Keenan found one lizard dead on arrival, but the snakes were all breathing.

"Honestly, the fact that they were still alive was pretty amazing," Keenan said.

She boxed up the snakes and brought them to Stoneridge Animal Hospital in Edmond to be nursed back to health by exotic animal vet Dr. Brad Minson.

Nine snakes survived the road trip, and there are seven alive today.

"We got them warmed up, and they've been eating well for me," Minson said.

There are some pythons, a few boas and an albino red tail.

These species of snakes are not cheap; the owner probably paid a few hundred bucks for each.

"Absolutely deplorable," Minson said. "It's absolute cruelty to abandon any animal at all when there are so many options available. This is the grossest form of negligence."

Once they're healthy, Minson plans to test the snakes for a common virus.

If they are negative for the virus, they'll make great pets.

If you are interested in adopting one of the snakes, call or text Tandy Keenan at 580-334-9350.