Man Starts Petition After Cops Seized 12-Foot Pet Alligator He’s Owned For 34 Years

Tony Cavallaro is reportedly petitioning to get his “emotional support alligator” home one week after authorities seized the 12-foot, 750-pound reptile.

Cavallaro’s pet alligator, Albert, was sedated and had its mouth taped before it was whisked away to an unknown location by a state agency, according to NPR. Cavallari has reportedly owned the 34-year-old alligator since 1990.

Thousands have signed a petition asking the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to return an 800-pound alligator to its owner.

Tony Cavallaro got Albert as a hatchling at a reptile show in 1990. He called the reptile his son.

— WMAR-2 News (@WMAR2News) March 17, 2024

The Department of Environmental Conservation said Cavallaro’s license to keep Albert expired in 2021, NPR reported. Additionally, the agency claims Cavallaro put others in harm’s way by allowing them to pet Albert and even swim with the reptile in its pool, according to the outlet.

Cavallaro, 64, does not think Albert is a threat to anyone, according to NPR. He has since reportedly hired a lawyer and intends to get his scaly friend back home.

“I can’t express how much this is destroying my life. I haven’t left my house since this happened. I miss him so much.😥 I haven’t hardly eaten anything and have gotten very little sleep. I’m mentally and physically exhausted,” Cavallaro said in a Facebook post. “I can’t believe these people are so cruel. They don’t know anything about this animal. I know for a fact he wouldn’t hurt anyone ever. For me this is very difficult to deal with.”

A petition on has received over 120,000 signatures in support of bringing Albert back home. Friends and strangers are coming together to help Cavallaro through this tough period, and some have made “Free Albert” T-shirts and buttons, according to NPR.

“I am going after them for destroying my life. Albert is my emotional support Alligator,” Cavallaro said in his Facebook post.