July 27 (UPI) -- Police in Washington, D.C., said they seized a 5-foot caiman, an alligator cousin, from a basement on the southeast side of the District.
Police said they were accompanied by personnel from the Humane Rescue Alliance on Wednesday when they acted on a tip and served a search warrant on the home.
Investigators found the 5-foot caiman, which police initially mistook for an alligator, being kept in a 4-foot tub in the basement of the house. Police also seized several dogs and paraphernalia believed to be related to illegal dog fighting.
The Humane Rescue Alliance said the six adult dogs and six puppies found in the home had injuries and scars consistent with dog fighting and chronic neglect.
The rescue group said the caiman is being cared for at its facility while the dogs are receiving veterinary care at an undisclosed location.
Caimans are not legal to keep as pets in Washington.
It was unclear whether any arrests were made.