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Martin County deputies warning pet owners to be careful after deadly gator attacks

Posted at 1:46 PM, Dec 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-13 23:15:08-05

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — The Martin County Sheriff's Office is warning residents to be extra careful after two dogs were killed by alligators over the last few weeks.

MCSO said an 8-foot gator grabbed, killed, and ate part of a neighborhood dog in Indiantown on Friday morning. Wildlife officers eventually captured the reptile and will relocate it to a farm.

The sheriff's office said this is the second dog killed by an alligator in that area over the last few weeks.

Authorities added 12 dogs have been attacked by gators in Martin County this year.

Deputies are now warning residents to be careful because breeding season and heavy rain is causing aggressive gators to move around more.

"Please keep a close eye on your children and pets if you live anywhere near water, even retention ponds," the sheriff's office wrote on Facebook.

MCSO also reminded people to never feed alligators because it's illegal and dangerous.

"I worry that a child could be the next victim if the child is not properly supervised. That's definitely a concern," said Det. Robert Smith with MCSO's Agricultural Crimes Unit. "An 8 or 10-foot gator would have no problem grabbing a 3-year-old kid if the kid got too close."


Martin County deputies warning pet owners to be careful after deadly gator attacks

RELATED: What to do if you encounter a nuisance gator

If you see a nuisance gator in your community, contact Florida’s Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 1-866-FWC-GATOR.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission defines a nuisance gator as one that's at least 4 feet long, and is believed to pose a threat to people, pets, or property.