Crime & Safety in Clearwater>Question Details

Peggy Covert, Both Buyer and Seller in 10036

Will there be a problem with alligators for any of the homes in Clearwater/Tampa area...i have a tiny dog?

Asked by Peggy Covert, 10036 Mon Jul 28, 2008

I like a lot of the homes on golf courses and lakes, but are there alligators in most of the lakes and golf courses here?

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17
In any amount of water bigger than a mud puddle you will likely find an alligator(s)(excluding salt water). People say they are more afraid of us than we are of them UNTIL some foolish person(and there seems to be many of these folks) decides it's fun to feed them !! As soon as they start associating humans with food then they become less afraid of hanging around near us humans. And do not be fooled by their lazy appearance and bulky looking bodies-they are fast! They can run up to 35 miles per hr and if they snap something up and pull it into the water, they pull it under and do a death spiral until they drown their snack.

So the answer to your question is NEVER leave your dog or child unattended near these water areas, as well as be aware of your surroundings . A fenced yard will keep the gators out, but will it keep you dog IN?? Other concerns with small pets are predatory birds like the owls and hawks. But even bees can be a danger. Just today, sadly, a 1.5 yr old dog was killed by bees that had built a huge nest under the owners mobile home and they tied the dog outside. The bees got irritated by the dog and the dog could not escape because he was chained. That could have been a child just as easily.


I would just say be cautious because just because you don't live right on the lake doesn't mean you won't have alligators around. In communities with numerous lakes/ponds, the gators can be seen wandering the neighborhood migrating from one body of water to another-Meadow Point in Wesley Chapel is an example-who would have thought! We had an agent showing a house in MP and a gator was in the back and hissed at her-scared her! A board on board fence is a must!

So, the real answer is be pro-active and observant. Florida is a wonderful place if you respect it's critters you won't have a problem. Every state has it "critters". OMG did you see the tarantulas trying to escape the floodwaters in Texas-that's like a bad movie!!

Enjoy Florida!! It has so much to offer!!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
Peggy,

Yes, as a pet owner, you should be concerned and aware of predators as well as traffic if you let your animals run unattended.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
YES! You can always count on wildlife around any body of water; as in a lake, pond and conservation areas. As a dog advocate, it is always best to leash your beloved pet around these areas while walking them. And stay alert to such creatures. After all this is there home too.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
I've lived in and around the Tampa Bay are for oer 30 years, and the answer is "yes" and "no". ALL small, inland bodies of water here in Florida do, will, or did contain some sort of gator life, and many incidents happen every year as a result of the ignorance of mainly unwary visitors--things such as the random golfer getting too close to the water's edge when retrieving a water ball...only to find a nest of 'balls' which turned out to have a protective mom nearby...
I just went kayaking up the Cotee River in New Port Richey yesterday, howeer, and never saw a single gator. They are there, and they are just as wary of you (us) as we should be of them--it's simply an awareness thing and that is all.
There are leash laws in Florida as well as most states, so yes--use a leash, do not leave your dog unattended outdoors at any time for any reason if you live near a body of water, which most people don't anyway, because of the heat.
I hope you find this helpful--for more thoughts and experieinces of Florida Living, check my blog:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
The alligators will not have any problems, it is the tiny dogs and their owners that will have the problem. Ken
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
Oops! I guess it depends on where you want to live. Robin sounds like she really knows Land O Lakes. Robin is right. I'm in Pinellas County which is surrounded by salt water and boasts some of the best beaches in the world. Your point is well taken Robin. Areas even in Tampa Bay can be more different than anyone might think. And Robin's warning not to feed gators is especially important. Gators are not so much of a threat until some bozo decides to make a pet of them and starts feeding them. Once they lose their fear of humans, they are very dangerous. Then results can be tragic.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 2, 2008
Dear Patti, We have SOME gators here? Obviously you live in Pinellas County and there are no alligators in salt water. If you lived in Pasco where we have lots of fresh water lakes and ponds you would know the prevalence of alligators. So I understand your lack of exposure to these critters. I was showing a home in Wesley Chapel in Bridgewater just yesterday and in the pond behind the house there were 2 gators about 4 ft long that were moving about quite actively(it's mating season and they are more agressive right now), and I bet you if someones fluffy little dog was down by the waters edge that it would definitely be in danger.

Anyway, my point was BE CAUTIOUS. Don't feed the ducks or the gators. Put up a fence that will contain your pets & kids. PERIOD. And yes, talk to the neighbors if you have a concern about ANYTHING in the neighborhood.

Living in a home with a lakeview or pondview is a wonderful thing and definitely preferred by many as opposed to looking at the back of someone elses home. So, be proactive and enjoy the view!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 2, 2008
Dear Robin: The fear of alligators is grossly overstated. Yes, they are found in Florida and we do have some here. You generally find them in ponds or lakes and you find more of them in remote, more recently developed areas. Therefore if you are especially worried about alligators, avoid that kind of lakefront location. Your dog probably has more to worry about from traffic than from alligators. If you find a neighborhood where you think you would like to live, stop and talk with neighbors. Ask questions. Go ahead and don't be afraid to ask them if there is an alligator problem. You could even check with local police agencies. But please don't be surprised if they chuckle at the question.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 2, 2008
It's not just alligators. It's coyotes, too:

http://www.winknews.com/news/local/25971569.html
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
MVP'08
Contact
Thanks for all of the feedback guys. My issue is that we would be buying a house with a backyard so that we could put in a fence and the dog could run around in his backyard off-leash. Would this not be possible in an area near a lake or golf course? Would being on the ocean or on a lot not directly on a lake greatly increase the safety? Will fences stop alligators? I love the area, but if our family and 7lb dog cannot live there without him being able to run around in his back yard we will have to pass....
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
Here is a list of links showing some statistics.

http://www.statemaster.com/graph/hea_all_att-health-alligato…

http://www.razor-gator.com/gator_attack_statistics.htm

http://myfwc.com/GATORS/nuisance.htm

It appears that the likelihood is rather small. Naturally, some areas are more prone to alligator attacks than others. If it is a major concern- check with the local wildlife bureau.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
I would expect to see Alligators in almost any lake in Florida. Just like anything else, being aware of your surroundings is the best defense. I cannot think of an alligator attack in our history on a dog on a leash. For the most part, they are content to eat the fish in the lake. But stay away from them and don't feed them.

Your pet is hundreds of times more likely to be hit by a cab in Manhattan than attacked by an alligator in Florida, so don't let Florida's natural beauty disuade you from buying your next home.

Good luck!

If I can be of assistance, please email me at Gary@BayVistaRealty.com

Gary De Pury
Broker-Owner
Bay Vista Realty & Investments, Inc.
Chairman, Communications Committee
Greater Tampa Association of REALTORS®
Director, Florida Association of REALTORS®
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
As a Florida native I always tell homebuyers if they live on a body of water, at some point in time, they can expect an alligator to appear. For the most part in their own environment they are not dangerous but must be given respect. Feeding them creates big problems. Small animals and children should never be left alone around any water for a variety of reasons - wildlife being one. We can live peacefully with alligators. I grew up swimming and fishing in lakes and rivers where alligators lived. We kept a close eye on them and left if one appeared to move our way. They were here long before people discovered the beauty and joy of Florida living! (They also make good eating . You can find "gator bites as appetizers in restaurants here.)
Web Reference: http://mvasquezrealtor.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
There most definitely are alligators in salt water. They are not as common but they are there.


Gary De Pury
Broker-Owner
Bay Vista Realty & Investments, Inc.
Chairman, Communications Committee
Greater Tampa Association of REALTORS®
Director, Florida Association of REALTORS®
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 2, 2008
Martha's right--I have four cats and a dog, all of which have open access to my canal-front yard, and the only issues I've had with critters is the occasional raccoon, possum, or armadillo snooping around. Aligators do not hang around salt water places, and a decent fence will protect your home, yard, pets and people from any 'gator.
You can sign up to search homes for free on your own if you like!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
Peggy,

A fenced yard should be fine. A gator should not be able to get in unless there's a hole somewhere. Would you like to search our MLS for homes in the Clearwater area? I'll be happy to set you up on an account and will help you find homes with fenced yards.
Martha
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
In my experience, yes there can be. You should be very careful with pets and small children. We always assume there is an alligator in the water and stay away from the water's edge. Also, when going out at night we must keep aware of the surroundings. I spent a long time in the Temple Terrace (Tampa) area, not sure about Clearwater but I imagine it is similar.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
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