Alligators ‘aggressive’ this season; second local dog attacked


When a tiny Yorkshire Terrier was rushed to Clint Moore Animal Hospital on Easter Sunday with deep gashes on her chest and back, Dr. Lindsay Butzer recognized the wounds immediately.

“My first thought was, ‘This is another alligator attack,’ ” said Butzer, a veterinarian at the Boca Raton clinic.

Lilly, the 6-year-old dog, was running near a lake in the back yard of her Boca Raton home on Sunday when an alligator crept up and bit her, according to Butzer and a GoFundMe page started by Lilly’s owner, Anthony Monti.

“I am not sure how but somehow she was able to make it back to me while I was in my back yard,” Monti wrote on the crowd-funding page, which has garnered more than $2,300 in donations toward Lilly’s medical bills.

Butzer was surprised the pup survived. But then again, it was the second time she’d seen it happen.

A 1 1/2-year-old Labrador retriever-Dachshund mix named Sable was attacked by an alligator in late February at West Delray Regional Park and rushed to Clint Moore Animal Hospital. Sable managed to free herself from the gator and survived the attack.

The wounds were nearly identical to those Butzer saw on Lilly, she said.

“I never thought we’d get another one,” Butzer said. “But it’s alligator mating season. The alligators are more aggressive and protective around their nests.”

Those are the only two attacks in the area in recent years, Butzer said, but it isn’t surprising when dogs roam free in South Florida. In both cases, the dogs were wandering near lakes virtually unsupervised.

“These alligators are getting a bad rep,” she said. “It’s not really their fault. It’s their home too.”

Lilly underwent three hours of surgery, and will need about about a month to recover. An alligator tooth ripped through her back and chest, even exposing backbone in some areas, Butzer said.

Butzer and her colleagues have warned dog owners, and offered tips to prevent future gator attacks.

Gators like to sunbathe during the hottest hours of the day, so avoid lakes and canals during those times, she said. And never let your dog roam without a leash unless the area is fenced off.

“We’ve kind of advise people not to keep their dogs around lakes in general,” Butzer said.

Lilly left the hospital Thursday morning with several staples, Monti wrote on the GoFundMe page. But they’re watching closely for infections.

Said Monti: “It really is an Easter miracle she survived.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

WATCH: Thief steals bag with $30K in cash, jewelry from man pumping gas
WATCH: Thief steals bag with $30K in cash, jewelry from man pumping gas

Police are searching for a thief who stole $30,000 worth of jewelry and cash from a man pumping gas.  The incident happened on Aug. 17 around 4:30 p.m. at a Chevron gas station in Lauderhill, according to WPLG.  Police said the man was filling up his tank when the thief opened the passenger side door and stole the bag from the front...
NEW: Florida landlord fatally shoots tenant during eviction argument 
NEW: Florida landlord fatally shoots tenant during eviction argument 

An eviction turned deadly after a Florida landlord fatally shot a tenant Friday night.  Ryan Wilder, 32, of Winter Springs, is facing first-degree murder charges and being held without bond after police say he shot and killed Kenneth Palicki, 47, according to the Miami Herald.  Palicki and his girlfriend Colleen Lyons were living...
JUST IN: FIU freshman killed while crossing street near campus
JUST IN: FIU freshman killed while crossing street near campus

A Florida college student was struck and killed by a car while crossing the street near the school’s main campus in Miami on Sunday morning “This tragedy reminds us how precious and fragile life is,” Florida International University tweeted late Sunday afternoon. <div></div><br><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"...
UPDATE: Wellington’s Town Square Plaza (CVS, jewelry store) starts work
UPDATE: Wellington’s Town Square Plaza (CVS, jewelry store) starts work

Construction has begun in Wellington’s Town Square Plaza where the Provident Jewelry store will be moving to the east end and CVS will have a store. Workers are building the tower next to where the jewelry store will be headed. It’s just an aesthetic upgrade for the shopping center, said Bob Basehart, Wellington’s Planning, Zoning...
Nation’s ‘School Lunch Fairy’ to help kids’ lunch debts is from Wellington
Nation’s ‘School Lunch Fairy’ to help kids’ lunch debts is from Wellington

Christian Cordon-Cano recently heard a radio segment about “school lunch shaming” — a practice where some public schools make a spectacle of throwing meals in the trash for kids that have outstanding debts. The response from most who hear that is “I hope someone does something about that.” Instead, Cordon-Cano, a 17-year-old...
More Stories