FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - A dog is fine, a cat, even, if that's your choice, but Frankfort police discovered one pet that you cannot keep when they responded to a call on Friday morning.
"He was friendly with me," said Francisco Rivas, the pet's owner, "It was a buddy of mine that brought it over."
"About that long," gestured Mark Marraccini, of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, with his hands about 16 inches apart. "It had not yet started to grow to a problem size, but it would have."
"It's sad because it was a very healthy alligator that I was taking care of," added Rivas.
The alligator's owner didn't want to be shown on camera, but says the discovery was made after he called police for a different reason.
"I called police for a domestic dispute," he recalled, "I ended up getting busted for an alligator."
The gator, though young, is a threat according to the Fish and Wildlife Resources.
"They grow fast and they escape. At that point, they threaten pets, they threaten people," described Marraccini, adding that the animal is on the list of illegal pets because they are "an inherently dangerous animal."
While this find may sound startling to some, in reality the Department Fish and Wildlife say they seem to seize a gator a year, sometimes in a more surprising fashion.
"We've found them 3-and-a-half to four-feet-long," answered Marraccini of past cases, "Kids are starting to get out and go bluegill fishing in farm ponds, and they'll be surprised when they catch a three-and-a-half-foot alligator."
Marraccini went on to say the illegal pets are often bought and traded on the internet, yet having the exotic pets doesn't always end well for the animal.
"they're (the owners) basically just condemning it to an early demise because we're forced to euthanize it," he responded.
Case in point, Rivas' alligator. He said he wasn't happy to hear it was put down, "I was trying to find it a new home, because obviously alligators do grow and an apartment is not a suitable home for an alligator."
Rivas was cited for the reptile, although he said since he moved from Texas, he was unaware it was illegal to own. He went on to say that he knew there was no way he would be able to domesticate the alligator.