Iowa snake breeders claim false report led to raid - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa snake breeders claim false report led to raid


DUBUQUE  (KWWL) - Nearly two years after investigators found hundreds of snakes in their home, two Dubuque snake breeders have filed a lawsuit claiming that a Wisconsin breeder made a false police report that prompted the search.

William Shaffer and Linda Merfeld filed the suit against James and Nancy Stelpflug, who own a breeding operation in Dickeyville, Wisconsin/

They argue the couple intentionally filed a false report claiming the Dubuque breeders illegally trafficked reptiles across state lines.

Investigators in January 2007 found more than 350 snakes and 500 feeder rats and mice.

Although breeding snakes didn't break any laws, Shaffer and Merfeld were cited for possessing sand boas in violation of Dubuque's dangerous animal ordinance.

Online Executive Producer Nate Leding

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