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Veterinarians amazed after dog escapes from alligator, survives attack

Posted at 7:26 PM, Feb 26, 2017
and last updated 2019-03-26 15:43:29-04

A lucky Palm Beach Gardens dog was able to escape a vicious alligator attack in suburban Delray Beach and is expected to recover.

Black Lab-Dachshund-mix, Sabol, ran off from her owner at West Delray Regional Park Thursday and in a matter of seconds, was attacked by a gator in a nearby pond.


Sabol's owner found her severely bitten and rushed her to Clint Moore Animal Hospital. It took a team of veterinarians two-and-a-half hours of surgery to save Sabol's life.

The doctors say she's lucky she survived. Most of the time, they say dogs bitten by alligators don't make it.

They say Sabol's close call is a reminder of how important it is for dog owners to keep their dogs by their side at all times anytime they're near water in Florida.

"I just wouldn't let them really close to the edge of the water," said Dr. Brian Butzer, "Because that's where those animals hide, and they're going to wait for a dog to come along and they're going to grab them."

"And definitely keep them on a leash if they're anywhere near a pond or a lake or anything like that," Dr. John Thomas Brady added, "Because you can't see them until it's too late."

Both Doctors Thomas and Butzer say they were amazed that Sabol was able to escape the gator's grasp before it was too late and pull through without any organ damage or serious infection. The veterinarian team at Clint Moore Animal Hospital estimates the gator that attacked Sabol was about six-feet long.

Sabol's owners are facing thousands of dollars in medical bills from the attack. They've set this a GoFundMe page for anyone interested in helping.