Florida has it all, whether you’re seeking vibrant nightlife, exclusive coastlines, or backyards teeming with alligators! A family in the Sunshine State was having a typical day until the husband came in contact with a gator! 

Richard Wilbanks and his darling three-month-old puppy, Gunner, were relaxing in their backyard on a day off. On a Sunday morning in late October, the dynamic duo took a walk around the pond near the Wilbanks’ residence. Unbeknownst to Richard or the puppy, an alligator was watching as the two walked along the shoreline.

In a flash, the gator, which was over four feet long, leaped out of the water and grabbed Gunner. Before realizing it, Richard dove into the water and started chasing the dog and the reptile that had it in its grip. Your emotions take over in a scenario like this, and Wilkbanks wasn’t about to let the creature get away with snatching his furry friend.

“I turned around,” says Richard, “I heard him yelp and I turned around and I saw the alligator swimming off with him and I just jumped in the water.” He continues by saying, “I caught up with the alligator and grabbed him and wrestled him up to the bank and then had to pry his mouth open to get Gunner out.”

Alligators are drawn to the sounds and motions of small animals. There are rumors that they like to devour dogs. If you choose to walk your dog near the ocean or any body of water with alligators or crocs, make sure your pet is on a leash and keep a close eye out for any potential hazards. 

Making a Run For It

“It was like a missile,” the pet owner says about the interaction. “We were only about three feet away from it, but it struck like a snake. It had Gunner in a vise grip and I just rushed in.”

Richard dives into the pond while holding a burning cigar in his mouth and pulls out the alligator that has Gunner firmly in its grasp. Wilbanks exerts all of his force to force the alligator’s jaw apart widely so that his dog can flee. Gunner leaps from the beast’s mouth and sprints toward the grassy shore.

American Alligator swimming in the spring swamp in Texas

Regarding the terrible moment, Richard explains, “It was like a missile. Despite the fact that we were only a few feet away, it struck like a snake. I raced in as Gunner was being held in a vice. 

Every dog owner would act in the same way.  When your natural instincts arise, our team of professionals knows our readers will do whatever it takes to keep their four-legged buddies safe since we consider them to be family. We’re happy that Richard and Gunner both survived with very minor injuries and have a great tale to share!

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