(CBS) — The Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital is trying to save the lives of pet snakes and geckos that arrived this week and the staff says it’s one of the worst cases of animal cruelty some have ever seen.

The pythons and the leopard geckos came from a home in Winnetka, says Erica Mede, the executive director of the Friends of Scales Reptile Rescue in Wheeling.

“It was actually really horrifying,” Mede said. “It was hard for my staff members at the clinic to stomach because we hadn’t seen such cases of animal abuse in a very long time, especially with reptiles.”

Mede says some of the reptiles were dead and some have died since.

(Credit: Friends of Scales Reptile Rescue)

(Credit: Friends of Scales Reptile Rescue)

She says they were in awful conditions, in feces and some were covered with snake mites.

“I kid you not – when we opened one of the drawers – my doctor opened the drawer and one of the ball pythons actually came out and just wanted to be held,” Medes said. “We have a picture of him resting his head in her hand.

“And it is the saddest thing we ever experienced. It actually brought her to tears.”

Some of the snakes were found with snake mites. (Credit: Friends of Scales Reptile Rescue)

Some of the snakes were found with snake mites. (Credit: Friends of Scales Reptile Rescue)

Mede says they’re working with law enforcement to see if anything can be done.

She says there were a total of four leopard geckos, and two have survived. There were a total of five snakes; three have survived.

At some point, she says, the survivors will be available for fostering and then adoption. And she says if anyone wants to donate to their care at Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital, they can call 847-329-8709.