HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – George, a 3-year-old black lab, spent Wednesday resting and recovering after a very close call with one of Florida’s biggest nuisances: an alligator.
He and his owner were out for their morning exercise in Northdale Lake Park when things took a bad turn.
“Whenever the ball hit the water, George jumped in at about the same time. This gator came out of the reeds at say 9 o’clock. The dog never saw him,” said Blair Haynes.
Haynes couldn’t believe what happened next.
“And he was coming back, and we were yelling, ‘George! Come on. Hurry up!’ And the gator grabbed him from behind and took him under,” Haynes said.
George used all of his might and swam for it.
“And like I said, it was the longest five or ten seconds of my life. And finally, he came back up and he was really motoring for shore,” the owner said.
George managed to walk away.
Haynes took the 90-pound dog to the vet who gave him 20 stitches.
As for his owner, it was quite the scare and a huge lesson as well.
“We’re in Florida. You should be a little smarter. Keep your dog on a leash,” Haynes said.
A spokeswoman with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission tells 8 On Your Side that a trapper will head to the area to try to locate the gator. If it’s found, it’ll be removed. The trapper will look for other nuisance alligators as well, she said.
Haynes said it appeared the gator was six to nine feet long.