Alligator encounters seem to be on the rise here in Florida, every other day there’s a story in the news about a person losing life or limb to these reptilian dinosaurs. This is a story from my home state that has me pretty bummed out, 1) because I’m a total softy when it comes to dogs and 2) the protective instinct this good girl displayed while saving the life of her owner is truly incredible.
This is Precious, the dog who lost her life defending the life of her owner:
A veteran’s service dog was killed by an alligator at the Port LaBelle Marina.
Robert Lineberger is epileptic and depended on his medical alert dog, Precious, for more than six years.
Lineberger recently moved into the marina about a month ago, where he lives on his sailboat. He stepped onto the dock and never saw what was coming.
“It was pitch black, and I really didn’t hear anything until I rounded the corner, and then I heard like claws,” he said.
Precious started guarding her owner as he was being threatened by a 13-foot alligator on the dock.
“My service dog stepped out in front of me to protect me, and the gator grabbed a hold of her front legs.”
An image, he said, will never be erased from his mind.
The main factor that led to this military vet losing his service dog was the lack of lightning the dark areas around the marina. He’ll now be haunted by the memory of his dog Precious being attacked by that 13-foot alligator for the rest of his life, all because the marina hasn’t adequately illuminated the area:
Other neighbors living at the marina have spotted the 13-foot gator making the marina home. Now, people are taking extra precautions after the recent attack.
Neighbors are growing frustrated that the gator will be remaining at the marina and are asking for lighting to be installed where there is none.
Sullivan said residents are allowed to have solar panels, but those cannot be nailed to any of the dock posts.
“It could have been avoided if there was proper lighting where you could see,” Lineberger said. “I cannot allow her death to go unnoticed, and it’s got to make a difference here.”
The dock master told NBC2 that he believes the alligator should remain at the marina because it is the gator’s natural habitat, and without permission of the land owner the FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) cannot relocate alligators even if they are deemed to be a nuisance…No justice here. I might be reading into this too much but it sounds to me like the dock master has a soft spot in his heart for this gator, he’s probably watched it grow up over the years and loves that alligator. He doesn’t care about the new guy living on his sailboat who lost a dog, and he doesn’t care about throwing money into lighting areas of the marina because it’s not his responsibility. Again, I’m just reading between the lines here and I might be reading too far, but this is the impression I’m getting: a man that doesn’t respect the fact that a service dog lost his life while protecting his owner from the attack of a 15-foot alligator…Such a shame, pour one out for Precious, she was a good girl who deserves to be remembered.
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