The man shot the gator four times while the dog's head was still in its mouth
A Florida man acted in the nick of time to save his dog from an alligator's grasp.
The Deltona man, who wishes to remain unnamed, told Fox 35 he noticed Winston, his chocolate Labrador, sniffing around in his yard. The moment the man spotted the gator in his yard, it lunged at his dog and chomped down on the side of his head. The man ran inside, grabbed a gun, and shot the alligator four times while it still held Winston's head between its teeth.
"I don't even think there was a thought," the homeowner told FOX 35. "I think it was – my heart just dropped, and I was like, 'Okay, I have to go do something.' So, I mean, you just spring into action and do what you have to do to save your dog. Twenty seconds later, probably would've had a dead dog."
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A Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officer arrived to help the homeowner with the body of the alligator, which measured 7 feet, 8 inches.
"The game warden said that most likely because it's breeding season... a lot of the alligators are going to be out, and they're going to be looking for potential mates," the homeowner told Fox 35. "They're going to be a little more aggressive, so if you live anywhere near water, just make sure that you're checking your yard, because something like this can happen in a split second."
Fortunately, Winston only suffered a minor puncture wound to his ear.
The homeowner says the game warden told him the gator likely got into this yard through a damaged portion of his temporary fence. Part of the normal 6-foot-high fence was destroyed in a hurricane, and now is blocked off by a temporary 4-foot barrier.
One of the barrier's pegs was damaged, indicating the gator probably climbed over it to make it into the backyard.
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