Meanwhile in Florida: Retiree Saves Puppy From Alligator Jaws of Life, Good to Hear Florida Is Back to Being Florida

Puppies may be small, but they can get into big trouble. If they’re lucky, they have patient owners who will help them out of a jam and try to ensure that they survive long enough to grow into adult dogs. One particular pup from Florida should be thanking his lucky stars for the owner he ended up with, because he saved the fur baby from an alligator’s jaws.

It all started when the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, named Gunner, was out for a walk with his 74-year-old human, Richard Wilbanks. That’s when an alligator attacked.

“We were just out walking by the pond,” Wilbanks told CNN, “and it came out of the water like a missile. I never thought an alligator could be that fast. It was so quick.”

Wilbanks jumped to action – and dove into the water. He wrestled the gator out of the water, then literally pried the little pooch from the jaws of death, an “extremely hard” feat, which left Wilbanks with “chewed up” hands. (Yet somehow he managed to keep his cigar in his mouth.) Gunner survived the terrifying event with only one puncture wound in his stomach.

The entire ordeal was caught on film because of cameras placed in the area by the Florida Wildlife Federation and the fSTOP Foundation, which advocate living in harmony with nature. Wilbanks agrees with that stance, and said he doesn’t want the alligator removed or killed. “They’re part of nature and part of our lives,” he said. He even still walks Gunner near that same pond – just a little bit further from shore.

Cover Photo: NBC News

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