WSMV (Nashville, Tennessee) 11 July 06 Venomous Snakes Confiscated From Home
A Trousdale County man's love for reptiles landed him in trouble with the law.
Daniel Shahan was arrested for having nearly a dozen venomous snakes including a cobra in his home.
Shahan collected a variety of snakes including pythons, boas, rattlers and cobras, but the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency intervened after he tried to sell one of his rattle snakes.
Wildlife officers said those snakes are a danger to the public and to Shahan himself.
“Very few people have anti-venom that they can get to so if someone walks in his house and gets bit, they're in really big trouble unless they can get to a hospital real quick,” said Doug Markham of the TWRA.
In all, 10 rattle snakes, a cobra and an alligator were confiscated from the home where Shahan's estranged wife still resides.
Besides the dozen or so snakes that were confiscated Monday night, about 17 remain that are non-venomous.
“It’s even worse to have a cobra. It’s an exotic critter and really takes some special work to have in your possession. He really broke a lot of laws,” said Markham.
It is a relief for many of Shahan's in-laws that the venomous snakes are gone. His sister-in-law said they kept her family from visiting the home for very long.
“My son was not even allowed to come over here and spend the night because of the rattlers and cobras. We come over here, he was with me, we stayed a while and then we left,” said Julie Kennedy, Shahan's sister-in-law.
His estranged wife, Heather, said she is not sure what she will do with the remaining snakes, which include freshly hatched babies and several eggs.
Heather Shahan said after he returned from service in Iraq last year, her husband traveled out west to rattlesnake round-ups where he caught many of the snakes.
She said he had intentions of breeding the reptiles and then selling them for money.
Daniel Shahan is charged with possession and sale of protected wildlife, which is a misdemeanor.
The TWRA said he will face one count for each reptile confiscated, which could add up to a hefty fine and even some jail time.
He is out of jail on a $5,200 bond.