Stephen Gustafson says he didn’t think twice about running to rescue his dog when she was dangling from the jaws of an alligator last Friday afternoon in Lake County. Fla.
Gustafson, 66, was trimming branches on an oak tree when he heard his 13-pound West Highland Terrier, named Bounce, let out a “yelp.”
“She let out a really high pitched, what I call ‘yelp,’ and I looked up and the gator had her in his mouth and was taking her far out,” he told FoxNews.com. “I knew if I needed to react, it had to be quick.”
Gustafson took off running across the backyard of his Florida home for the lake and wrestled the alligator to save Bounce.
“I saw the dog moving into the water and ran down the short hill in my backyard and just took a flying leap and landed flat on the back of the alligator,” he told FoxNews.com.
Gustafson said it was about a thirty-second struggle before he was able to free Bounce. “We were all under water,” he said, “My main objective was to get the dog to the surface for air.”
The alligator reportedly let go of the dog and turned towards Gustafson’s hand. “He didn’t bite and hold. It was more of a snapping. He went to bite again and his jaws came close but I grabbed his jaw and pinned it shut and down to the ground,” he said.