Dog dies saving Florida owner from alligator

LaBELLE, Fla. - A man is pleading with officials in Glades County for a code inspection after his dog was eaten by an alligator at the marina where he resides.

"Precious" the pit bull kept Robert Lineburger safe by sensing his seizures before they happened, but now she's buried in his front yard.

Lineburger lives on his boat at the Port LaBelle Marina. One April night when he left to use the restroom, his pet followed.

The dog's owner said his pet saved him from the alligator, which tried to bite him on the dock.

"She jumped in front of me. She was roughly 2 to 3 feet away from me when the gator attacked," said Lineburger. 

Neighbors at the marina said gators aren't a rare sighting in the area.

"I've seen them on land, I've seen them right here," Frank, a resident at the marina, said pointing at the dock. "I have no doubt they've been on the dock."

However, Lineburger said he wasn't able to see the alligator because there are no lights around the marina at night. He believes that is a commercial code violation.

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"We have no lighting, which is mandatory code enforcement. Fire extinguishers are mandated by the fire marshal, we have cluttered docks, and at night with no light, you can't see the clutter," he said. "You trip over them, and now you put the alligator problem on top of it, it's a place for a disaster to happen."

Code compliance for Glades County said they have not confirmed any code violations, but are hoping someone will be out to inspect the site tomorrow.

Lineburger said he wants something done before another tragedy happens.

"Nothing they will do will bring her back, but I do not want her death to be in vain," he said. "At least let it accomplish something and get some of these violations taken care of."

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