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Owner of Gator Wants him Back
DAYTON - The owner of an alligator found abandoned in a home Thursday has come forward. The owner claims the gator wasn't abandoned at all, and she wants him back.
The mother of two says she was devastated when she came home and her beloved alligator was missing.
"I was looking for him. I'd been everywhere. I'm calling everyone like, by any chance you seen an alligator walking down the street?" La Shawn Swain explained to ABC22 at her home on Friday.
Swain is the proud owner of a dog, a cat, a snake and a 15 year old alligator named Zaire Alexander Swain.
Swain is moving out of her Philadelphia Drive home and scheduled Vectren to turn off her heat.. The vectren worker found Zaire in the bathtub.
"It's not my fault he went snooping around my house looking!" Swain exclaimed.
Swain says she left her home at 90 degrees, a comfortable temperature for the gator who was a present from her ex husband.
"I said I do. He said I don't. I asked for alimony. He gave me an alligator," Swain explained.
Swain says Zaire is spolied. He lives in his own tank and has his own room.
"He even has a gold necklace," Swain added proudly.
But Tim Harrison, Director of outreach for animals says if Zaire is 15 years old, it is one of the worst cases of animal abuse he's ever seen. The alligator should be three times his size. And Zaire doesn't have any teeth.
Swain says she feeds her alligator cat food.
"They don't feed them cat food. It makes them malnourished and gives them a vitamin deficiency," Tim Harrison said.
Swain insists the she did her research, gave the gator a good home and family.
"The cat and the alligator all hang. The puppy they all hang. They kind of jump him sometimes, but it's all harmony you feel me." Swain describes of her 'family'.
Harmony now broken by the alligator's discovery.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture will not be returning the gator to La Shawn. It is illegal to have an alligator in Dayton, and now the entire state of Ohio if you don't already have a permit. After proper care, Zaire Alexander Swain, will be moved out of state.
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