CLEVELAND -- An alligator was found living in the backyard of a Cleveland apartment building located at West 50th Street and Fanta Avenue.
The juvenile gator was found inside of a tub with a metal grate and bricks to keep it from escaping. Someone anonymously reported the gator to Cleveland Animal Warden Bobby Nolan and Monday afternoon officers rescued the large reptile as well as several other animals.
“We also confiscated four dogs that were tethered outside without food and water,” said Animal Warden Bobby Nolan.
Neighbors weren’t surprised.
Angelica Ortiz,13, had even held the alligator when it was younger.
“It was scary,” said Angelica. “Every time they’d go to give it meat, it would like almost bite their hands.”
The alligator is estimated to be a juvenile and is three to four feet in length.
“They can get to more than eight feet long. Very big ... very dangerous,” said Warden Nolan.
The gator and dogs were all in pretty good condition and should recover. The dogs will hopefully be adopted to good families, and the alligator is on its way to an exotic animal sanctuary.
No one at the building would comment, but people close to the family say the gator's owner is already in jail.
A man who lives at the location was arrested on July 29 for domestic violence and resisting arrest.
He could now also face charges stemming from both the alligator and treatment of the dogs.
Nolan says they are investigating everything. No one wanted to comment on the man or his situation, but they said they were happy that the alligator is gone.
Angelica Ortiz said, “I feel safe now. I can come over here with my family and walk around without having anything chase me or bite me.”