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Snakes alive!

The market for snakes - as pets - is flooded. And as a result they can be bought for as little as ten pounds. And that's bad news. Because they're being bought as a novelty and then abandoned - in record numbers.

One sanctuary in Kent is receiving dozens of unwanted snakes - incuding pythons and boa constrictors - every week. John Ryall reports, speaking to Wayne May of the Artisan Rare Breeds rescue, and volunteer Jesse Potter.

"Obesity crisis" not just hitting us humans...

Video. It's an established fact that, as a nation, we are getting bigger. But it seems we are also sharing our unhealthy eating habits with our pets. Four and a half million cats and dogs are estimated to be overweight.

But now there is a campaign to try and reverse the situation. Martin Dowse went to meet one pet owner from Poole in Dorset who decided to take action after her dog ballooned in weight.

He spoke to Suzanne Fox about her dog Diesel and Vet Chris Sydenham.

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Crocodile lover keeps pet Caesar in his bungalow

Video. Keeping dangerous characters under lock and key is second nature to Chris Weller. For years, Chris Weller worked as a prison officer. Six years ago he retired. But security remains uppermost in his mind.

Not least because he shares his bungalow with a crocodile. Caesar is a cold-blooded killer, who spends most of his time in a tank. But like many of us, if he is left hungry, he starts to get agitated. John Ryall reports.

Picking up strays

The number of stray dogs picked up by councils in the south east has reached 9,200 - that's an increase of 10% on last year. The latest figures, released by the Dogs Trust, equate to 25 dogs being picked up every day by Local Authorities in the South East.

So is the family pet the latest victim of the long recession? Nashreen Issa talks to Adam Levy from The Dogs Trust, Nicholas Barnes from Pets at Home and an Animal Welfare officer from Brighton and Hove Council.

Pegasus the dog home from Afghanistan

Video. A family have gone to extreme lengths to bring home a stray dog their son befriend while in Afghanistan. Private Lewis, who was killed whilst on patrol, had Pegasus the dog as his constant companion. His family have now taken great solace in giving Peg a new home.

Now an artist from Oxfordshire has painted the remarkable little dog's portrait, which is hoping to raise money for charity. Heather Edwards spoke to Tony Lewis, Private Lewis' father and Shirley Cherry who painted the portrait of Peg.

  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Animal rescue crisis in south-east

For a nation of animal lovers we're doing a pretty bad job. Animal centres across Kent are reporting ever greater numbers of cats, dogs and other pets being dumped, abandoned or mistreated.

The RSPCA says its centres at Canterbury and Leybourne are now at crisis point - so full, they simply can't deal with any more animals. David Johns reports, speaking to Christine Dooley and Adele Collier from the RSPCA in Kent.

To help re-home a cat or any of the other animals, please call the RSPCA on 0300 123 0751 or visit www.rspca.org.uk

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