Pet kept secret for 40 years may lead to charges for family

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Pet Kept Secret for 40 Years May Lead to Charges for Family

An 8-foot-long alligator was seized Monday from the backyard of a Van Nuys home by Animal Control Officers from the Los Angeles Animal Services Department, authorities revealed Wednesday.

The discovery was made in the 13200 Block of Sylvan Street after authorities received a tip regarding the alligator, according to a news release from the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office.

The same property had been searched in late 2014 after officials received a similar tip, but no alligator was found at that time, the release stated.

On Monday authorities returned to the home.

The resident refused to allow officers to inspect the property, so a search warrant was obtained, according to the City attorney's Office.

Alligator in the backyard
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Pet kept secret for 40 years may lead to charges for family

In the back of the yard, officers found the 40-year-old alligator in a covered box, the release stated.

Also located in the box with the alligator were what appeared to be the remains of two dead cats, authorities said. The carcasses were impounded along with the alligator.

Animal Services was conducting a full criminal investigation and was expected to present the case to the City Attorney's Office for prosecution.

Residents in the area who had lost small pets at any time over the last 40 years or who had any additional information were asked to contact Commander Mark Salazar at 213-482-7455 or

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