Alligator found in D.C. home taken to refuge

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – An alligator that was seized from a Southeast, D.C. home has been taken to refuge.

The 5-foot American alligator, originally misidentified as a caiman, was found during a search of a residence on Thursday. Humane Rescue Alliance officers also found six puppies and six dogs who had scars consistent with dogfighting. Those dogs are now in veterinary care.


The Humane Rescue Alliance says two different search warrants in two days led to the rescue of thirteen different animals including a reptile very similar to an alligator.

According to the Humane Rescue Alliance, after receiving an anonymous tip of a large reptile animal living in a DC residence, they partnered with DC Health and worked with the DC Office of the Attorney General to obtain a search warrant.

HRA’s Field Services Division, with support from D.C. Police, then executed the search warrant Wednesday afternoon, seizing an illegal 5-foot caiman, a reptile very similar to an alligator, from the premises in SE DC.

The caiman was being housed illegally, in inhumane conditions, in the basement of the residence.

During the execution of the search warrant, HRA officers say they also observed conditions and paraphernalia associated with organized dog fighting. A second search warrant was issued by a Superior Court Judge Thursday morning.

HRA Humane Law Enforcement officers executed the second search warrant Thursday, in which six adult dogs, and six puppies were recovered from the address.

HRA says the dogs showed signs and scars consistent with dog fighting as well as chronic neglect due to unsanitary living conditions.

“The Humane Rescue Alliance is committed to eradicating the sadistic sport of dogfighting in the District and will root out any individual who participates in this cruel activity,” said Chris Schindler, HRA’s Vice President of Field Services. “I am proud of our dedicated team of officers who thoroughly investigated this case which resulted in rescuing 12 dogs from harm’s way.”

After finishing the execution of the search warrant, all 12 dogs were immediately transported to an undisclosed location for veterinary care.

HRA says the caiman was transported to their New York Avenue facility Wednesday for assessment and continued care.

The case remains under investigation by HRA’s Humane Law Enforcement division.

To report suspected animal abuse or neglect, HRA asks you to call 202-723-5730.

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