Dog escapes Easter gator attack, recovers at Boca Raton animal hospital

Yorkshire terrier mix dubbed 'Easter miracle' after surviving gator attack

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor , Todd Tongen - Anchor/Reporter

BOCA RATON, Fla. - A west Boca Raton family's dog is recovering after being attacked by an alligator on Easter.

Lilly, a 6-year-old Yorkshire terrier mix, was taken to the Clint Moore Animal Hospital after Sunday's attack.

"I bent down to pet her. That's when I saw that she was all full of blood," Anthony Monti said.

Monti said the gator grabbed Lilly and tried to drag her into a lake near Monti's home, but Lilly was able to escape.

The first bite nearly hit her jugular, and the second bite narrowly missed her femoral artery.

"If that was severed, she would have bled out within five minutes and wouldn't have made it here to survive," Dr. Lindsay Butzer said.

Monti said Lilly underwent hours of surgery.

"We call it an Easter miracle That's what we call her because the doctor doesn't understand how she's alive," Monti said. "(The Florida) Fish and Wildlife (Conservation Commission) doesn't understand how she's alive. The trapper doesn't understand how she's alive. Nobody's ever heard of a dog get injured like this and get away."

Lilly may need another surgery because of a severe infection that has left the skin around her wound rotting.

Monti believes he knows how the gator got to Lilly.

"You can see how small that is," Monti said, pointing to the spaces between the fence on his porch. "You would never think a dog could fit through there. There was a lot of blood and a lot of her fur stuck down at the bottom."

Trappers have been in the neighborhood looking to catch the dog-snatching reptile.

Monti created a GoFundMe account to help pay for Lilly's medical bills, which are estimated to be more than $8,000.

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