BOCA RATON, Fla.- - Lilly is a 6-year-old Yorkie-mix. A gator sank its teeth into her. Now she's fighting to survive at a veterinary hospital.
"It was almost like a dream," said Anthony Monti. "I couldn't believe what I was seeing."
Stitches around Lilly's neck and tubes coming from her hips show where the gator gripped.
"When you see something or someone you love all torn up like that, you see all that blood, you panic right away," said Monti.
The attack happened Easter Sunday. Monti was doing yard work outside his home.
"I bent down to pet her and I was in shock because I saw all this blood and big gaping wounds everywhere," said Monti. "We wrapped her in a towel and rushed her here."
The staff at Clint Moore Animal Hospital began treating Lilly immediately. "The injuries were very bad and severe the puncture wounds were deep," explained Dr. Lindsay Butzer. "This wasn't going to be an easy case."
Pictures show the challenges faced by veterinarians and the emergency surgery that followed. "It's a difficult procedure," said Dr. Butzer. "You have to be able to clean it out and especially there were nerves cut, so it's for a more advanced, more experienced surgeon."
Vets say the challenge now is Lilly's recovery. Her little body will have to work hard to fight the infection.
"We're still worried that she could go into septic shock," said Dr. Butzer.
Monti, added, "We want to get the word out so this doesn't happen to somebody else's pet."
Lilly is staying at the animal hospital, where she's on antibiotics and strong pain medication.
The cost for the surgery and other procedures is $8,000 and counting
The family setup this GoFundMe for help with the medical expenses.
Lilly's family says she's an irreplaceable part of their family.