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5-Foot Alligator Rescued From DC Heads to New Home

The alligator, previously misidentified as a caiman, was whisked away from the Humane Rescue Alliance building on New York Avenue

The 5-foot alligator seized last week from the basement of a Southeast D.C. home is headed towards a happier, healthier life at an animal refuge, the Humane Rescue Alliance says.

"He's going to receive the expert care that he needs and he's going to live a happier life," Chris Schindler, the vice president of field services, said.

Animal rescuers rescued  the alligator, previously misidentified as a caiman, from a 4-foot blue plastic container Wednesday. He was found in a home that also housed a dozen canines that appeared to have been used in dog fights.

The Humane Rescue Alliance posted video Tuesday of the alligator sitting in a pink kiddie pool before workers wrangle it into a plastic bin.

The alligator was loaded into a truck and whisked away from the organization's New York Avenue NE facility. He's going to a refuge that can offer a species-appropriate environment, the rescuers said. They can't disclose where the refuge is because the law enforcement case is ongoing.

The Humane Rescue Alliance received a tip Wednesday that there was an alligator-like animal in the 3500 block of Brothers Place SE, Alliance spokesman David Smith said. A video on Humane Rescue Alliance's Facebook page shows officers serving a search warrant and uncovering a 4-foot blue plastic container that housed the alligator. 

The Humane Rescue Alliance said the home showed signs of dog fighting and unsanitary living conditions. A second search warrant was served Thursday and the rescue organization recovered six dogs and six puppies from the address. The dogs were scared and appeared neglected.

The 12 dogs were taken to veterinary care. The caiman, which had been kept at the home illegally, was transported to Humane Rescue Alliance's facility on New York Avenue on Wednesday.

Police have identified the animal as both an alligator and a caiman. The species belong to the same family.

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