A Brantford, Ont. couple was charged with three counts of animal cruelty after 40 ball python snakes and five eggs were found unattended and dehydrated in plastic containers earlier this month.

Police found the snakes in five plastic storage bins at the Bell City Motel on Colborne Street in Brantford, which is located about 100 kilometres southwest of Toronto.

The charges are causing distress to an animal, failing to provide care necessary for an animal's general welfare and failing to provide adequate and appropriate water.

The snakes ranged from 30 centimetres to 1.3 metres in length.

When they were discovered, they did not have water and the owners of the snakes were not present. An SPCA official said the snakes were "in distress" and a later examination revealed they were dehydrated.

The owners, when found, surrendered the reptiles as well as the five eggs to the Brant County SPCA.