kristen bell
by Ali Berman
Categories: Animals, Causes.
Photo: Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com

The Humane Society of Greater Dayton rescued a sick and abused alligator from the basement of a man’s house after being notified about a facebook video of the animal being taunted by a young man. The seven foot alligator (who should be 10 feet) is malnourished and suffering from bone disease due to a lack of exposure to sun for the last fifteen years.

While the local animal group knew about the alligator for about two years, they were unable to rescue him without evidence of abuse. According to the AP, the video that gave them the right to go investigate shows a young man throwing beer on to the alligator. The animal then jerks his head and bites the small plastic container he was being kept in. Other bite marks on the plastic suggest the taunting was not isolated to this one instance. The concrete wall next to the plastic tub also showed bite marks and the alligator is missing teeth from the constant clash. Authorities say the man kept the door open and allowed high schoolers to come and look at the alligator even when he wasn’t home.

Why is Kristen Bell upset? (Besides the obvious abuse.) The AP article says that the man who owned the alligator and the other who taunted the creature “may” be charged with animal cruelty. Kristen Bell responded on twitter saying:

The cruelty that this animal has faced from neglect alone should be worth prison time. Tim Harrison, director of rescue at Dayton-based Outreach For Animals, said about the alligator’s reaction when feeling the sun for the first time, “When we brought him out in to the sun, he actually just closed his eyes for a long time. It was really sad.”

Thankfully, this reptile has a much better life ahead of him. He will be relocated to a facility in Florida where he will live in a swampy outdoor area. A big improvement from the basement prison he has lived in for so long.

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at aliberman.com. In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

View all posts by Ali Berman →
  • Carol Batten

    No pet, not even dogs or cats should be obtain for the purpose of amusing humans.With pet ownership comes responsibility.It’s not all fun and games.I would not suggest anyone of this caliber adopt a pet.

  • Wanda Lee

    Abuse is abuse and should be treated as such be it dog, cat, bird, fish alligator or human, anyone found abusing or neglecting should be charged and sentenced to jail time. Just because an animal cannot express themselves does not mean they do not feel pain, if it were a child, or someone who is physically or mentally challenged they may not be able to express the pain, that would not n’t mean they did not feel the pain. People need to stop turning their heads away pretending they don’t see the abuse, even if it’s a friend or relative, people need to do the “right” thing. Document the abuse with photos or video if possible, report to the authorities, several times if that is what is required to get help or the animal in need, posting to a social media such as Facebook or Youtube has proven to be a great way to draw attention to the animal in need, it can prove animal control with the evidence they need to be able to help the animal, too often animal control cannot do anything because of the way the laws have been written, currently animal are “property” and are seen as nothing more than a chair in the eyes of the law, and unless there is documented proof often there is little animal control officers can do. Laws need to be changed to reflect the ongoing growing issues with abuse worldwide.