Neighbors still worried about CH man’s exotic snake collection

Posted at 8:55 PM, May 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-14 21:33:40-04

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah - A Cottonwood Heights man gets to temporarily keep possession of his large collection of exotic snakes in his home, but the neighbors who complained originally are still upset.

Thomas Cobb was cited for having 29 boa constrictors and 80 rats in his home without an exotic pet permit, but the city agreed to investigate further and granted him an extension.

But neighbor Tobi Paulos says there is a bad smell coming from Cobb's home and that Cobb washes his snake bins out in his gutter.

"I live in a neighborhood...a residential neighborhood that is not zoned for that. And he was animal farming, with raising these rats and feeding them to his snakes, and keeping them in his garage. It's a public nuisance," Paulos said.

Cobb has since obtained an exotic animal permit and gotten rid of the rates. He says he's offered to teach Paulos about the snakes, but she's refused.

"It's personal property. It's not a danger to anybody. It's like someone collecting mug sets or spoons from every state. They're not exhibited to the public. They don't come outside. They're in a controlled environment, as has been stated several times," Cobb said.

Cobb says he's received threats and has had to install a surveillance system.

The Cottonwood Heights City Council is expected to hear from neighbors concerned about Cobb's collection of snakes during a meeting on Tuesday night.

Related story:
Cottonwood Heights home has 29 snakes, 80 rats