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Devastated dog owner 'took his own life after pet was killed by alligator'; Andrew Epp, 36, died the day after beloved support dog Java was mauled to death.

Byline: Dave Burke

A devastated dog owner reportedly took his own life after his beloved pet was killed by an alligator.

Andrew Epp, 36, had support dog Java to help with his mental health problems.

But tragically the black labrador was mauled in Florida on May 17.

The following day Mr Epp was found dead, despite his family's calls for him to be admitted for urgent treatment.

Friend Kayla Weston told WFLA: "It was just such a sad situation."

It is thought Java is one of at least three dogs killed by alligators in Dog Leg Park at Buffalo Creek in the past five years.

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He had got loose outside a fenced area when the attack happened.

Witness Sharil Dowling said she saw a man carrying the dog covered in blood.

She said: "I can't imagine the anguish that guy was in."

In aGoFundMe appealto help pay for his funeral, sister-in-law Ash Epp described Mr Epp as a "gentle, beautiful soul".

She wrote: "The night before he passed, Andrew's family were begging local facilities to admit him.

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"They were turned away and told that, because he wasn't vocalizing that he wanted to hurt himself, the earliest he could even see a doctor was August 2019."

Tragically his older brother Paul also took his own life in 2005.

Ms Epp wrote: "The thing is, often those considering suicide don't vocalize their plans. And they can be turned away in the moments that help is most needed."

* Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you're feeling, or if you're worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org

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Credit: gofundme

Andrew Epp took his own life despite efforts by his family to get him admitted to hospital

Credit: WFLA

The support dog, named Java, died as a result of the mauling

Credit: WFLA

Mr Epps was distraught following the death of his pet

Credit: WFLA

The tragedy happened the day after Mr Epps' dog was killed by an allegator

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Title Annotation:News,UK News
Publication:Daily Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 25, 2019
Words:381
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