CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — A local dog is fighting to live after being attacked by a gator in a neighborhood pond.
Action News Jax was at the family’s home in Fleming Island when the family’s Shiba Inu came home after being at the vet for over a week.
"Every day, we were wondering if she was going to be alive the next day," Alice Less said.
Maiya is now confined to a crate with bandages covering most of her body after Daniel Less said he watched a nearly 7-foot-long alligator pull her underwater.
"There was just like an explosion. She was in the water and she hates the water and I knew something was going on and she was screaming," Less said.
That’s when he ran over to the pond, which is just feet away from his home.
"As I’m about to pull her out, that's when the alligator popped up and it scared me and I scared it and it let her go," Less said.
The Less family rushed their dog to the emergency clinic where she got stitches, but by morning Less said Maiya took a turn for the worse.
"We didn't know she had an infection and it started to spread and by the morning it had completely started to eat her on the inside," Less said.
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Since then, Maiya has been going under countless treatments to try to fight off a flesh-eating bacteria and superbug the doctors found.
"At the end of all this if she makes it through, she will need reconstructive surgery and skin grafts; it's a long road ahead," said Less.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, mating season for alligators is May and June and it brings increased hunger among gators, which leads to a higher risk of attacks.
Alice Less said she hopes the gator is trapped soon.
"There’s a lot of kids that live around here and most families have dogs as well and something can happen tomorrow," said Alice Less.
Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said it’s illegal to feed gators and if you see anyone do it, call the wildlife alert number at (888) 404-3922.
A gator trapper has until July 7, when the permit expires, to catch the gator that was last seen on Majestic View Lane.