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Wed Dec 16, 2020, 01:29 AM

Florida puppy that escaped alligator's jaws becomes sheriff 'deputy dog'

Gunner the puppy survived a close encounter with an alligator's jaws last month - with video of his escape, aided by owner Richard, quickly going viral.

Now he's been honoured as a "deputy dog" by his local sheriff in Florida.

The five-month-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will work with Lee County Sheriff's Office to educate children about safety.


(Video of baby Gunner at link.)

~ ~ ~

Florida man saves his puppy dragged into pond by alligator
“Instinct just took over and adrenaline kicked in," said Richard Wilbanks, who jumped up from his backyard chair for the rescue.

Nov. 22, 2020, 5:11 PM CST
By Ben Kesslen
A Florida man is drawing praise for valiantly saving his puppy from the jaws of an alligator.

Richard Wilbanks, 74, was just enjoying the sun when he heard his new puppy, Gunner, crying. A alligator in the backyard pond at his Lee County home had grabbed the dog and pulled it into the water.

Wilbanks, an avid hunter, reacted quickly, jumping into the pond, grabbing the small alligator and pulling its jaw open, so Gunner, a three-month-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel, could escape, surveillance video of the rescue shows.

“It was just a shock, it happened so fast,” Wilbanks told NBC Fort Myers affiliate WBBH. “Instinct just took over and adrenaline kicked in and I just went right into the water after the gator and Gunner."

Wilbanks, whom NBC News was unable to reach on Sunday, told WBBH that he only got a few cuts from the rescue, and the puppy is OK.

"He had the dog and he is covered in blood,” said Wilbanks wife, Louise, describing the moment she realized her husband had wrestled the small gator.

The late October incident was captured on video because Wilbanks participates in a program where residents who live adjacent to wild habitats let the Florida Wildlife Federation and the fStop Foundation put cameras on their land to document animals, according to the Fort Myers News-Press. The foundations learned of the incident only recently after collecting the memory card from the camera on Wilbanks' land.


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Reply Florida puppy that escaped alligator's jaws becomes sheriff 'deputy dog' (Original post)
Judi Lynn Dec 2020 OP
bamagal62 Dec 2020 #1
Judi Lynn Dec 2020 #2
bamagal62 Dec 2020 #3

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Dec 16, 2020, 05:30 AM

1. The whole thing had me in tears.

I’ve always had cavaliers and I know how terrified that little cavalier must have been. I’m so happy he was saved. I’m not sure mine would have survived the stress. Cavaliers are the best little dogs EVER. And, I know that that cavalier understood what his owner did to save him because I save mine from our cat on a daily basis. Cavaliers are LOVE in a little dogs body. Cavaliers=love.

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Response to bamagal62 (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 19, 2020, 08:46 AM

2. They look the way you describe them. So precious. Have never seen one in person.

They are completely unique.

You are a lucky person, bamagal62, as a friend of an angel. ❤️️

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 19, 2020, 02:26 PM

3. Thank you. This is my second Cavalier.

I don’t think I would ever get another breed, Except,
I would love to have a French bulldog. However, I imagine a French bulldog and cats might not work!

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