NewsPasco County


Florida man wrestles alligator to save his dog

Florida man saves dog
Posted at 4:07 PM, May 12, 2021

HOLIDAY, Fla- — Jake the dog is always happy to greet visitors, even after an alligator tried to have him for breakfast.

“He’s on the mend. He’s full of spit and vinegar today," said Jake's owner Mike McCoy.

RECOMMENDED: Alligator mating season is here — this is what you need to know

McCoy was walking the 8-month chocolate lab Tuesday near the pond right behind Paul R. Smith Middle School in Holiday.

He says out of nowhere a gator sprang out from the water and pulled Jake under.

“He was in the death roll with that old gator," said McCoy.

Teacher Kellie Mallon happened to be looking out the window from the second floor and saw it all happening.

“It was kind of like a snake darting really fast. It was super fast," she said.

She also watched as Mike jumped into the water.

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

The owner and dog both got stitches, but thankfully nothing worse.

The school nurse even helped bandage Mike up.

“It’s not often you get a gator call," said Shelly Churchill.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission tells ABC Action News they estimate the gator to be between seven and nine feet long.

They are working with a trapper to remove the alligator from the pond.

FWC said these kinds of attacks are rare in Florida, but people should be careful near water during the warmer months.

Some people may think Mike’s crazy for fighting that alligator gator, but Mike says he didn’t think twice about what he did.

“No hesitation. It’s just the way it is.”

FWC warns that although alligator bite incidents resulting in serious injury are rare, keep your distance.

Although many Floridians have learned to coexist with alligators, the potential for conflict always exists. Serious injuries caused by alligators are rare in Florida, but if you are concerned about an alligator, call FWC’s toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-392-4286. The FWC will dispatch one of its contracted nuisance alligator trappers to resolve the situation.

For more information, visit the FWC's website.