Alligator snatches dog in Sunrise

Trappers try to catch gator

SUNRISE, Fla. – An alligator snatched a family dog in a residential area in Sunrise, and now trappers are hoping to catch the gator.

It happened Tuesday about 10:30 p.m. in a neighborhood along Northwest 127th Drive.

The Byers family took their dog, Jessie, outside to use the bathroom before heading to bed and, in a matter of minutes, a gator snatched her.

Jessie was a 50-pound mutt the family rescued from Puerto Rico when she was only 8 months old.

Mark Byers called her a "good fit with the family."

"It's an awful tragedy," Byers told Local 10 News. "It's terrible."

Byers said the gator has been swimming around the lake in his backyard for as long as he can remember. To take precaution, he built a sea wall to keep the gator out and protect his family. 

"In my case, my dog went down off of the wall and got hit," he said.

Myers' daughter was outside when the whole thing happened. She said Jessie was a curious dog who liked to explore around the yard. Tuesday night, Jessie managed to go around a fence, where the gator happened to be waiting. 

"Our understanding is that the alligator took (her) to the center of the water and there was no way to reach the animal and (she) has not been recovered," Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Liz Barraco said.

Barraco said a trapper will now set up traps around the lake in hopes of catching the gator. 

"My understanding is that gators generally of this size, if they have a history like this, aren't going to be placed elsewhere," she added.

In the meantime, people in this neighborhood are advised to keep an eye out.

"I want everybody to know he's out here now until they trap him and get him out of here," Byers said.

If there's a gator causing a nuisance, residents can report it to the FWC at 866-392-4286.

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