Authorities last week seized a pet alligator that a Wading River liquor store employee was keeping at work while he searched for a new apartment, officials said.
Specially trained officers from the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals descended last Wednesday on Alpine Wines and Liquors in the King Kullen shopping center on Route 25A and took the alligator away, said SPCA Chief Roy Gross.
Mr. Gross said he estimated the 3-foot alligator to be about 3 years old. “That’s enough to do some serious damage,” he said. “They do not make good pets.”
Store owner Nancyanne Corcione, 40, and employee Anthony Ciullo, 42, both of Port Jefferson Station, were charged by the state Department of Environmental Conservation with unlawful possession of an alligator.
Mr. Gross said the SPCA did not press any charges because the animal appeared to be well-cared-for. “It did not appear to be neglected or abused,” he said, adding that the alligator was taken to an out-of-state sanctuary.
The DEC said Ms. Corcione was allowing Mr. Ciullo to keep the alligator at the shop while he hunted for an apartment.
The SPCA is a private charitable organization and does not receive public funding. Anyone who wishes to make a donation to cover the cost of care for surrendered animals can do so by visiting its website at http://www.suffolkcountyspca.org.