Man wins approval to keep 29 snakes

Posted at 6:26 PM, May 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-04 21:17:41-04

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah -- A man who was told by police he couldn’t keep 28 of his 29 snakes rallied to find support, and Cottonwood Heights Police have decided to allow him to keep his pets for now.

Thomas Cobb owns 29 rare boa constrictor snakes, most of which are between 4 and 7 feet long. Cobb was cited for failing to have an exotic pet permit, and he was told he had one week to get rid of all but one of his snakes. The citation came after animal control received complaints about Cobb.

Cobb’s story went viral, and he spoke with local news outlets, bloggers, radio shows and eventually the city council. Cobb said he would have been willing to move before giving up his pets.

“You don't take a drag car from a drag racer,” he said. “You don't take your scalpel from a surgeon. You don't take your typewriter from a writer, so you don't take your boas from a boa keeper."

The decision to allow Cobb to keep is snakes is a temporary measure, and city officials have agreed to investigate the issue further.