(Dyer County, TN) A mother and daughter got a big shock when they discovered five of their family pets dead.
It appears someone viciously kill their five exotic snakes.
The family lives east of Dyersburg, Tenn.
The snakes were valued at $5,000, but the emotional loss can't be measured.
Leslie Peevyhouse can't hold back tears, thinking of her five exotic pet snakes, killed by someone over the weekend.
"It's like losing five family members all at once. How could somebody do it?" Peevyhouse said.
The five snakes were found dead Sunday in a heated storage building behind her home.
"The day before, when I had come out and checked on them, they were all doing great," said Peevyhouse.
Saturday was the last time Leslie saw her four ball pythons and one boa constrictor "alive and well" in separate plastic containers.
Sunday when she checked on them, she was shocked by what she found.
"My biggest ball python was getting ready to shed, so I checked on her first. And when I picked her up, her head just kind of flopped," said Peevyhouse.
She said it appeared the snakes' necks were broken and one of them had puncture wounds in its throat.
But Leslie can't understand why a corn snake named "Rollie" wasn't harmed at all.
While many folks would cringe at the thought of snake's as family pets, Leslie's daughter, 17-year-old Kucera Hayden, looked at the slithering reptiles in a different way.
"They were my pride and joy too. It's hard," said Hayden.
She's hurt and outraged by what happened.
"I can't see how anybody could think that just because it's a snake they have the right to kill it. When it's somebody else's pet," said Hayden.
One of the dead pythons was a rescue that came from a pet store in Dyersburg.
Jera Inman, who works at The Pet Store, said pythons are usually pretty gentle.
"They're pretty good pets most of the time, if you know what you're doing," said Inman.
At one time, Leslie and her daughter had ten snakes. Now they're left only with memories and questions about why anyone would kill their pet snakes.
"And we tried so hard to make sure that they were safe," said Kucera Hayden.
Under Tennessee law, whoever is responsible for killing the snakes could face charges of aggravated animal cruelty.
If you can help, call the Dyer County Sheriff's Department at 731-285-2802.