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Devastated Man Takes Own Life Day After Service Dog Is Mauled To Death By Florida Alligator

A heartbroken man took his own life just one day after his service dog was mauled to death by an alligator in Florida.

Andrew Epp, the owner, was walking his dog Java at the Dog Leg Park in Palmetto on May 17th when unfortunately the chocolate Labrador got loose from his lead.

The dog, who was also a service dog, ran towards a nearby marshy area of the land, where he was found and attacked by a viscous reptile.

36 year old Andrew suffered from mental health problems and was later seen carrying a lifeless bloody Java over his shoulder.

A woman named Sharil Dowling witnessed the scene said:

“Most people, if they knew they were that close to marsh and gators, they wouldn’t walk back there.”

“I can’t imagine the anguish that guy was in. It was horrible.”

Sadly, less than 24 hours later, Andrew was found dead, having taken his own life.

He is being remembered on a GoFundMe page as a ‘gentle, beautiful soul’, who ‘loved the outdoors, fishing, camping, horticulture and animals.’

The page recalls the day Java was kille and Andrew’s family were ‘begging local facilities to admit him’ for treatment.

They were turned away because ‘he wasn’t vocalizing that he wanted to hurt himself’.

The earliest Andrew could’ve been seen by a doctor would have been in August.

A neighbour and family friend called Kayla Weston said:

“It was just such a sad situation, he couldn’t deal with it.”

A frequent visitor to the Dog Leg Park, Tim Todd, explained that he knows of at least three dogs eaten by alligators in the area in the past five years.

Todd reached out to the county, demanding that warning signs be put up around the area to raise awareness of the lurking alligators.

He said:

“It was too late to do anything for that dog, but what could we do to help other people?”

Snake and alligator warning signs have since been put around the area.

This awful story highlights that mental health issues should not be taken lightly.

Our thoughts are with Andrew’s family and friends; may he rest in peace.

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