A REWARD has been offered for information which would help in the arrest and conviction of the 'snake dumper' in Sunderland.

The reward of £2,500 is being offered by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) after a series of snake dumping’s left the animals for dead in bins. The 29 snakes where found in pillowcases near Farringdon Fire Station in Sunderland. According to reports, 13 royal pythons were abandoned on 13 February – resulting in the death of at least one snake – and on 15 February, another 16 snakes were dumped in the same location. The RSPCA believes the cases are connected, and anyone with information is urged to call the inspectorate appeal line on 0300-1238018.

Many captive exotic animals who are abandoned in a non-native habitat quickly succumb to starvation, dehydration, or attacks by predators or fall victim to local parasites and diseases to which they lack a natural immunity.

PETA Director Elisa Allen said: "We're calling on anyone who has information about these cases to come forward so that whoever abandoned these animals can be held accountable and prevented from endangering anyone else, it takes a disturbing and dangerous lack of empathy to dump so many animals."

PETA is currently campaigning for better protection for snakes in the UK urging the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs to amend current regulations immediately to ensure that snakes in pet shops and breeding facilities at least enough space to stretch out fully, thus reducing their stress and suffering.

For more information about helping animals, please visit PETA.org.uk.