750-Pound ‘Pet’ Alligator Seized By Police And Owner Fights To Bring Him Back Home

In a suburb of Buffalo, New York, Tony Cavallaro experienced a shocking encounter with law enforcement at his home. Officers arrived with a warrant and proceeded to seize his 12-foot, 750-pound alligator named Albert. Cavallaro, who has shared his home with Albert for over three decades, expressed his distress over the event, likening his treatment to that of a terrorist. Cavallaro’s bond with Albert runs deep; he acquired the gator as a two-month-old from an Ohio reptile show and has since considered him an emotional support animal. Over the years, Cavallaro invested significantly in Albert’s well-being, including a $120,000 custom addition to his home featuring an inground pool for the gator.
Image/Story Source Credit: WIVBTV via YouTube Video
However, a change in the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regulations in 2020, regarding the possession of dangerous animals, led to complications for Cavallaro. After his license expired in 2021, and despite his attempts to renew it amidst confusion over the new regulations, Cavallaro found himself in violation of the updated rules. The DEC asserts that Cavallaro failed to ensure Albert did not pose a danger to the public or come into contact with humans, leading to the alligator’s removal.
Image/Story Source Credit: WIVBTV via YouTube Video
Cavallaro disputes the DEC’s claims about Albert’s health issues and the conditions under which he kept the alligator. He argues that Albert, who enjoys a diet supplemented by vitamins, is not blind nor suffering from spinal complications as alleged. Friends and supporters of Cavallaro have rallied around him, with actions ranging from a Change.org petition with nearly 20,000 signatures to “Free Albert” merchandise and a dedicated song. Cavallaro remains determined to fight for Albert’s return, insisting on the gator’s gentle nature and his irreplaceable role as part of the family.
Image/Story Source Credit: WIVBTV via YouTube Video
As the case unfolds, Cavallaro has enlisted legal assistance, though no court date has been set. Meanwhile, the DEC is evaluating evidence and consulting with veterinarians to determine the next steps, leaving Albert’s future uncertain.
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