Shelter Dog Meal Donation Count:

Learn More

Update: Puppy Saved From Alligator Is The Newest Deputy Dog Recruit!

Written by: Amber LaRock
Amber LaRock is a writer and reviewer for iHD. She is a Licensed Vet Tech with 12 years of experience in the field, and she now creates informative content for pet parents.Read more
| Published on December 10, 2020

A tiny Cavalier puppy named Gunner is fully recovered after his terrifying run-in with a hungry alligator. He and his dog dad are now being rewarded for their incredible bravery, as Gunner is now an official Deputy Dog for his local Sheriff’s office!

Gunner was on a morning walk with his dad just a few weeks ago when the unthinkable happened. An alligator was stalking the 4-month-old puppy in the distance, waiting for him to take a step toward the nearby pond. Once Gunner was in his reach, the alligator jumped at the opportunity to snatch the tiny pup.

gunner deputy dog
Screenshot via Facebook/Lee County Sheriff’s Office

“It came out of the water like a missile. I never thought an alligator could be that fast. It was so quick.” – Richard Wilbanks

From the moment the alligator had Gunner in his jaws, Wilbanks jumped into action to save his beloved pup. He dove into the water and began wrestling with the alligator, causing the gator to loosen his grip on the frightened pup.

Gunner was freed by his dad’s fast action, and was immediately taken to his local vet to be checked out. After being medically cleared of any serious injury, Gunner was sent home to heal with his superhero dad.

“It was just a reaction. Even though I had only had Gunner a short time, you just look at this face, those eyes, and ears… I was already in love with him, so attached to him, that I just reacted and went in after him.” – Richard Wilbanks

Screenshot via Facebook/Lee County Sheriff’s Office

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office in Florida is honoring Gunner for his tenacity and fight for survival, and offering him the title of “safety and security officer for Deputy Dogs.” Gunner accepted the sheriff’s pin with pride, and continues to show off his zest for life!

“Gunner’s tenacity and fight for survival proves he’s the perfect candidate as the Safety and Security Officer for Deputy Dogs!” – Sheriff Marceno

It’s clear just how much Gunner’s dad loves him, as his eyes beamed with love throughout the entire ceremony. If you would like to watch Gunner’s official recruitment video into the Deputy Dog community, check out his inauguration below!

We are so proud of Gunner and his new title, and can’t wait to watch him thrive as the newest Deputy Dog in town! We hope Gunner’s story continues to save other pups, and educates owners everywhere on safety around wildlife.

Image Source: LeeCountySheriff/FB

Recent Articles

Interested in learning even more about all things dogs? Get your paws on more great content from iHeartDogs!

Read the Blog