HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A Horry County family is counting their blessings after their dog survived an alligator attack, right in their own backyard.
They said it happened just before midnight Sunday off Bay Road in the Myrtle Beach Golf and Yacht Club.
*WARNING: Some may find Anya’s injuries a little graphic*
Kierstan Millen said the fact that her dog Anya was able to survive the attack is a miracle. She has some significant injuries on her left front leg and her belly.
The family rushed to the dog to the veterinarian where she received stitches and had medical work done.
Millen said she’s worried especially since she has a young child.
“My daughter’s a very outdoorsy kid too. She loves to be outside. She’ll tell you, ‘Outside,’ and I was like ‘No, not today,’” Millen said. “That fear of the unknown was way greater than to take a risk to let her play outside today, and that’s probably how it’ll be for a while.”
Anya is doing OK now, but she is also going through some psychological distress, because for now, she is too scared to go in the family’s backyard.
Anya has also been whining in pain frequently since the incident.
Millen said she’s beyond thankful her beloved dog was able to get out alive.
“Lucky doesn’t even describe it, because when I saw her, I thought the worst," Millen said. "She was going to die. She was going to have to be put down. Absolute miracle. I’m very grateful. She’s not just a dog. She’s part of our family.”
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said alligator sightings are becoming much more frequent around this time of year due to the weather and the fact that it’s mating season.
“They’re ambush predators," Billy Dukes with SCDNR said. "They lay and wait. They wait on an opportunity for food to come by, and that’s probably the case in this instance.”
SCDNR said it’ll be up to the homeowner’s association to decide what to do about the gator.
At this point, it’s hard to even identify the gator since it was so dark and it happened so quick.
SCDNR said it’ll be following up with the HOA and Millen.