Dog Loses Tail but Survives After Owner Pulls Pet From Alligator's Mouth

A man in South Carolina has saved the life of his dog by pulling it free from the mouth of an alligator last week, in an incident that caused the pet to lose its tail.

On Wednesday morning, Bruce Savage, from Mount Pleasant, was walking his terrier, Hanna, around a pond located in his neighborhood when he lost sight of his pet.

Savage told local station WCIV that after noticing that Hanna was no longer next to him, he saw that the dog had been taken by an alligator, explaining that in that moment "literally, my whole system shut down."

"My ears shut down. I couldn't hear anything, except for myself screaming my dog's name. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

He revealed that he managed to rescue Hanna by pulling her out of the mouth of the alligator, but discovered that the dog had sustained multiple injuries in the incident, including having her tail bitten off.

Savage did not sustain any injuries from the alligator in the incident, but was cut by the gravel next to the pond as he wrestled with the gator to get Hanna back to safety before running away from the area.

"My kids asked me, 'Well, did you look back?'" Savage told WCIV about his escape last Wednesday. "I was like, 'Heck no, I didn't look back!' I was running as fast as I could to get away."

Savage said that gators are known to frequent the pond, explaining: "We've known about the alligators. It's kind of a thing in the neighborhood to try and spot the alligators," but revealed that animal control were unable to locate the one that attacked his dog.

He confirmed to the local outlet that he will now stay away from the pond in the future, saying: "I just don't think it's smart to walk along there, and I don't think Hanna will ever go near the water again.

"You have to have a healthy respect for wildlife. Some wildlife is more dangerous than others."

The Department of Natural Resources in South Carolina told WCIV that three fatal alligator attacks have occurred in the state since 2016, and urged people to stay 10 feet away from water for safety during the spring and summer months.

There have been several sightings of alligators across southern U.S. states over the last few months, as the reptiles thrive in summer conditions but sometimes remain dormant in winter as the cool temperatures slow down their metabolism.

Earlier this month, a Texas homeowner called the police for assistance after she found a baby alligator swimming in her hot tub, with the local authorities joking that "the suspect resisted at first but was soon arrested and later released without further incident."

Meanwhile, in July an alligator in Florida approached a home in the middle of the night and refused to leave, with the creature thrashing and rolled in an attempt to avoid capture before being taken away from the property.

Newsweek has contacted the Department of Natural Resources in South Carolina for comment.

Alligator attacked dog in South Carolina
File photo of an alligator with jaws open wide at Everglades National Park. A man in South Carolina saved the life of his dog last week after his pet was attacked by an alligator while on a walk next to a pond that has been known to be home to gators. unclegene/iStock / Getty Images Plus