Florida man jumps into pond, wrestles puppy away from alligator

HOLIDAY, Fla — A Florida man acted quickly to save his 8-month-old puppy from the jaws of an alligator, jumping into a pond to wrestle his pet from the aggressive reptile.

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Mike McCoy, of Holiday, said he was walking Jake, a chocolate Labrador retriever, near a pond behind a middle school on Tuesday, WFTS reported.

That is when an alligator, estimated by Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officials to be between 7 feet and 9 feet long, came out of the water and pulled in the dog into the pond, the television station reported.

“He was in the death roll with that old gator,” McCoy told WFTS.

“It was kind of like a snake darting really fast,” Kellie Mallon, a teacher at Paul R. Smith Middle School who witnessed the incident, told the television station.

It is the mating season for alligators, who are especially active at dawn and dusk.

McCoy did not even hesitate when his pet was dragged into the water.

“I previously read up on my environment and gators. I got around, thumbed him the eye, picked him off the ground, picked him out of the water so he couldn’t get anywhere until he let the dog go,” McCoy told WFTS. “And in the interim, he decided, ‘Well, OK, I don’t have him, I’ll bite you.’”

McCoy and Jake both needed stitches, but their injuries were relatively minor. The nurse at the middle school helped bandage McCoy’s injuries.

“It’s not often you get a gator call,” Shelly Churchill told WFTS.

As for Jake, he is recovering well.

“He’s on the mend,” McCoy told WFTS about his pet. “He’s full of spit and vinegar today.”