HOLIDAY, Fla. – It’s something no Florida dog owner ever thinks will actually happen, until it does — your pet getting attacked by an alligator.
That’s what happened to Mike McCoy from Holiday, Florida, when his 8-month-old Labrador retriever named Jake was pulled under water by an alligator while they were on a walk.
According to ABC Action News, on Tuesday, May 11, McCoy was walking with his puppy near a pond right behind Paul R. Smith Middle School when an alligator suddenly popped up out of a nearby pond, pulling the chocolate Labrador underwater.
“He was in the death roll with that old gator,” says McCoy of the frightening incident.
A middle school teacher named Kellie Mallon happened to be looking out the window from the second floor of and saw it all happening before her very eyes.
“It was kind of like a snake darting really fast,” she says. “It was super fast.”
In order to save his puppy Jake, McCoy jumped into the water to fight the alligator himself with his bare hands.
“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,” he told the outlet. “And in the interim, he decided, I don’t have him, I’ll bite you,” McCoy recalled, adding that he had “no hesitation” about taking action to save his pet.
According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the alligator was between seven and nine feet long.
Although both McCoy and Jake needed stitches after the alligator incident, both the man and his pup were relatively unharmed and are currently back to their daily walks.
“He’s on the mend,” McCoy says of Jake. “He’s full of spit and vinegar.”