VANCOUVER - A Vancouver Island man has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty involving 34 animals including cats, boa constrictors, turtles and bearded dragons.

The SPCA says Kramer Lowe also owned a snake called a reticulated python, which is listed in the province's Controlled Alien Species regulation and posed a risk to people's health and safety or the environment.

The SPCA says it began an investigation at Lowe's property in Ladysmith after a complaint about filthy conditions.

Const. Tina Heary says officers encountered a disturbing scene of rotting dead animals, extremely high levels of ammonia from urine, caked feces, overcrowded cages without access to proper food and water and reptiles kept in enclosures that lacked adequate heat sources.

Lowe's sentencing hearing on one count of animal cruelty and violating a Wildlife Act regulation is scheduled for Nov. 2.

The SPCA says he faces a maximum fine of $75,000, up to two years behind bars and a lifetime ban on owning animals.