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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Oct. 1, 2018 2 years ago

Ormond Beach resident's dog injured by 9-foot gator

The alligator was later killed by a trapper with the FWC.
by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

An Ormond Beach resident's dog was attacked by a 9-foot-4-inch alligator on Wednesday, Sept. 26, and not only did the dog survive, but he will outlive the alligator, as it has been caught and killed. 

Danny Westberry's dog Jack was bitten by the alligator early that Wednesday morning after being let out of Westberry's house by accident. Normally, Westberry takes Jack along as he sips coffee in front of the Granada Pier Bait and Tackle Shop in Cassen Park, but that morning was different. 

Jack and Westberry's other dog, Joe, wandered down to Thompson Creek, where Jack was attacked. Westberry said someone was able to get Jack out of the water and called Westberry to come get him. 

Jack's rear leg was broken by the nine-foot alligator that attacked him on Wednesday, Sept. 26. Photo courtesy of Danny Westberry

“I immediately thought he was dead," Westberry said. 

Thankfully, that was not the case. 

Westberry took Jack to Tomoka Pines Veterinary Hospital, where he was given antibiotics. However, due to the extent of his injuries, which included a broken hind leg, Jack was sent to BluePeral Vet Partners in Jacksonville. Veterinary bills for Jack's upcoming surgery and other treatments are estimated to cost Westberry around $8,000.

As for the alligator, Westberry said he called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who provided him with their Nuisance Alligator Hotline. It was through the hotline that Westberry was able to get in touch with Curtis Lucas, a trapper from Pierson, who killed the alligator.

“He’s history," Westberry said.

The community has rallied behind Jack and Westberry since the

accident. A total of $2,739 has been raised via a GoFundMe page. Ormond Strong presented Westberry with a jar full of donations on Sunday morning.

Westberry's daughter, Darla, said in a Facebook message that there is no way her father could pay for Jack's medical bills on his own, adding that she had planned on paying half of the sum herself.

"I am just so amazed at the generosity of the donors," she said. "Our hearts go out to them."

Westberry said about $1,000 has been raised thanks to people putting money into a collection jar inside the Granada Pier Bait and Tackle Shop. He said he can't believe "all the goodhearted people" who have donated.

"I’m so appreciative of it," Westberry said. "I never dreamed that people would come through like that, and I’m just so happy about it.”



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