A Florida service dog for a veteran was killed by an alligator while protecting the man’s life.
Robert Lineburger’s pit bull, Precious, kept him safe for more than six years by sensing his epileptic seizures before they happened, WBBH reports.
In April, Precious did much more than that when she gave her life to protect Lineburger from an alligator.
Lineburger, who lives on a boat at the Port LaBelle Marina, went outside one April evening to use the restroom and Precious followed him.
An alligator was on the dock and it tried to bite Lineberger.
"It was pitch black, and I really didn't hear anything until I rounded the corner, and then I heard like claws," he said of encountering the 13-foot alligator.
Lineburger said Precious saved his life.
“[Precious] jumped in front of me," Lineburger told WPTV. "She was roughly two to three feet away from me when the gator attacked."
Alligators are not uncommon in the area, but because there are no lights around the marina, Lineburger was unable to see the one that killed Precious on the dock.
He believes the lack of lights is a commercial code violation and wants officials in Glades County to perform a code inspection.
"We have no lighting, which is mandatory code enforcement," Lineburger said. "Fire extinguishers are mandated by the fire marshal, we have cluttered docks, and at night with no light, you can't see the clutter. You trip over them, and now you put the alligator problem on top of it, it's a place for a disaster to happen."
The Glades County code compliance department plans to inspect the marina in the near future.
"Nothing they will do will bring her back, but I do not want her death to be in vain," Lineburger said. "At least let it accomplish something and get some of these violations taken care of."