Union Co. man claims ditches, snakes killing dogs

UNION COUNTY, Fla. -- A Union County man says he lost three dogs from moccasins in the last few months. He is blaming the county government for not maintaining the roadway in front of his home.

Lazarus Egantoff lives on County Road 793 and he says he is fed up. He says he has been working for years to properly maintain these ditches along the roadway.

"We need to dig it out and clean it out and let if flow like it needs to. The flowing is not happening. It stays here, it smells," said Egantoff.

And Egantoff says the standing water in the ditches is attracting more and more snakes, one he saw on Thursday trying to mow down some of the ditch in front of his home.

"There was a moccasin, must have been four feet, probably about that big around. And it scared me. I have to carry a shovel out here because you never know if there is going to be a snake or something there."

Egantoff says he lost his three cocker spaniels. "They were killed right out there in that ditch because of the moccasins."

"Any kind of snake scares me," said his grandson John.

Egantoff is concerned for his grandson and other children who will be waiting for the school bus this fall out by those non maintained ditches..

"We have to stay out here with them because we never know what is going to take place in these ditches there has been water moccasins and rattlers all around here and it is an issue that needs to be taken care of.."

Egantoff says years ago all was fine and the roadway perfect but the county has failed to maintain the area.

County officials did show up while a reporter was on County Road 793. They would not go on camera but did say lots of rain had limited their mowing in the ditches.

An inmate crew came out but would not work while our cameras were in the area. They did some ditch clearing work later and will return on Monday.

Shelton Arnold with the Union County road department says he was never contacted by Egantoff about his concerns, but he was contacted by county commissioner Morris Dobbs. Arnold says the county does at times dig out ditches and will take a look at the area and see if it warrants such work.


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