Motherwell man who turned flat into mini-zoo is sent to prison for animal neglect

Keith Ross
Keith Ross

A Motherwell man who kept a mini zoo of snakes, scorpions, turtles and lizards in his one-bedroom flat has been jailed.

Keith Ross (27), of Highfield Crescent, has been sent to prison for 18 months for keeping a dangerous collection of animals, most of which were neglected and badly treated.

He has also been disqualified for keeping animals for ten years.

The forklift driver collected the creatures for six years and even displayed them at kids’ parties.

But cops, animal welfare officers and council staff raided the his home following an anonymous tip-off.

Ross admitted 18 charges including eight charges of neglect and nine of keeping “dangerous and wild animals” without a licence from North Lanarkshire Council when he appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court in January of this year.

The court heard that when officers arrived to search his home in March last year he failed to tell them about dangerous or poisonous snakes and scorpions.

He admitted this was “culpable and reckless conduct” which exposed the officers to the risk of harm and endangered their lives.

Ross also plead guilty to breaching bail conditions which prevented him keeping any live animal as he was found to be keeping fish.

Following sentencing today (Tuesday), an SSPCA inspector said: “We are delighted that Ross has been dealt with by the courts and they have taken the extent of these animal welfare issues seriously.”