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NewsPolice officers branded "vile" after posing for social media pictures with dying...

Police officers branded “vile” after posing for social media pictures with dying pet snake

POLICE officers have been branded “vile” after they took pictures of themselves posing with a dying snake – and then refused to remove them from social media.

Psycho, a yellow rat snake, was discovered in a car park after going missing from its owner’s home in Coventry.

Officers took to the injured snake to a reptile specialist where they posed for snaps before leaving.

Psycho died before getting to a vet and owner Robyn Watts’ sadness turned to fury when she saw the images of the officers posing with her pet on a police social media account.

The police officers were blasted for holding the snake as if it was a “trophy”

When she complained to West Midlands Police, she was told they would not remove the images. It was only when national press contacted the force that they changed their mind.

Robyn, 32, said Psycho went missing two weeks ago. The 10-year-old pet is thought to have got in to her partner’s car as it was discovered on Wednesday in the car park of a nearby Halford’s they had visited.

Foleshill Police shared the pictures to Twitter the same day with the caption: “Never a dull day in Foleshill! This snake was rescued from Halfords car park this morning and to a local reptile shop to get it warmed up.

“Any ideas on species, tweeps?”

However, the post backfired as a number of people criticised the officers.

@bloomy126 wrote under Foleshill Police’s post: “Ignoring the needs and pain of an animal just for a photo opportunity. Shameful.”

@karenpalmer16 said: “Think you should take this down as owner deeply distressed looking at this when he should have been taken to a vet.”

@WarehamCio wrote: “Disgraceful holding the snake like that. You wouldn’t hold a cat or dog like that, you’d put warnings on the post before the pictures in case it upset anyone (which it has on this occasion). I get it you need photos for evidence but be respectful.”

Robyn claims the reptile shop staff told police the snake was injured. Psycho, whose injuries included a broken jaw and puncture wounds, died shortly after the officers left.

The pictures of the two officers “smiling” with the snake caused the owner a great deal of distress

Robyn wrote a heartfelt post about her snake on social media last night captioned with: “I’m truly devastated and absolutely gutted the way he was treated by these vile police officers.

“Holding my family pet in such a manner with a beaming smile on their faces when it is quite obvious he’s dead or was in serious need of attention.

“This is how I found out about him seeing these pics, seeing them smiling, as I’m crying.

“If this was a dog or a cat they would not handle in such a manner. I’m not on Twitter so please everyone make these pair of scum know it’s not acceptable behaviour.”

Robyn’s sister, Pia, contacted Foleshill Police to ask them to delete the post.

They initially refused on the grounds the pictures had been covered by local newspapers and it would “make no difference”.

The images have since been removed.

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: “Officers were called to the car park at Halfords in Foleshill Road, Coventry, on April 24 after a snake had been found by a member of the public.

“The snake was taken to a local reptile centre that had specialist equipment to care for the snake.

“There, officers took photos of the snake to share on Twitter in the hope that the owners would come forward.

“It was agreed with the reptile centre that the snake would stay there so that it could be looked after.

“Sadly, we understand that the snake later died.”

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