Gator snatches, kills family dog at public park in Florida

Woman and her grandson witnessed the attack
Posted at 5:27 PM, Aug 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-11 08:01:28-04

An alligator snatched and killed a family pet on a trail at a public park in Florida over the weekend.

Sue Fortenbery went to walk with Bolt, her one-year-old Jack Russell terrier, at Joe's Creek Greenway Park when he got loose from his collar to chase after a rabbit. The rabbit led Bolt through a hole in a fence into the waterway at the preserve. 

"The screams is what you can't stop hearing, the yelping," Fortenbery said. 

Fortenbery was with her grandson, who also watched how quick the gator came out of the water to grab their pet. 

"There's all these openings," she pointed out to Tampa's WFTS-TV while walking the trail again. "If the fence wasn't open like this, he couldn't have gone through and the gator couldn't have got him."

Fortenbery said she's upset that Pinellas County, Florida officials told her they won't remove the gator, but they told her they will monitor it.

As of now, the county does not consider this gator a nuisance because they have had no other complaints, and they were not given a good description what the gator looks like at the park to try and find it. 

The county has not surveyed the body of water to see how many gators may be in the preserve, but they urge the public to contact the parks department with any concerns or up close sightings. 

Fortenbery's biggest concern is moving forward, as there are two schools near the park, and a new development that has access to the park.