A 36-year-old man has taken his own life after his beloved dog was attacked and killed by an alligator.
The man identified as Andrew Epp killed himself less than 24 hours after his chocolate labrador Java was killed by the reptile.
Distraught Mr Epp, from Florida, US, suffered from mental health problems and leaned heavily on Java, who was described as a service dog.
He was reportedly walking the dog at Dog Leg Park in Palmetto when Java came loose from its lead.
The dog ran towards the alligator and was savagely attacked. An eyewitness described the hound as being slumped over, covered in blood.
In the hours following Java’s death, Mr Epp was so devastated that his family begged doctors to admit him for treatment.
He was turned away, his family said, and told that the earliest they could see a doctor was August – three months away.
Tragically, Mr Epp took his own life a short time after they were allegedly dismissed.
His family has launched a GoFundMe page, through which they hope to raise money for funeral expenses and other costs. Leftover funds will be donated to mental health charities.
The page reads: “May is Mental Health Awareness month. The night before he passed, Andrew’s family were begging local facilities to admit him.
“They were turned away and told that, because he wasn’t vocalising that he wanted to hurt himself, the earliest he could even see a doctor was August 2019.”
The post details how Mr Epp has struggled with his mental health, and has lost three family members – his sister, his dad, and his brother also to suicide.
“The thing is, often those considering suicide don’t vocalise their plans,” the family added. “And they can be turned away in the moments that help is most needed.”
Source: Daily Star UK