• A retired staff sergeant was walking with his dog at their farm
  • The dog, which dipped its front paws into the river, was suddenly bitten by an alligator
  • A "tug-of-war" ensued, and the owner had to take drastic measures to free his dog

Trent Tweddale was walking his six-year-old dog, Loki, on their Wesley Chapel farm in Pasco County on Monday when a 13-foot-long alligator attacked the dog and tried to drag him into the water. According to experts, the reptile may have been planning to kill the dog for a meal.

Calmly Strolling

The dog owner told WFLA news that he and his dog were calmly strolling when the rescue pup somehow dipped its front paws in the river. To Tweddale’s surprise, a huge alligator, which he estimated to be around 13 feet long, suddenly lunged at his dog and locked its jaws on its paws. The dog owner, who is a former Army staff sergeant, immediately sprang into action.

He grabbed the collar of Loki in a vigorous attempt to pull it back to shore. A ferocious tug of war match between Tweddale and the alligator followed, but the reptile was not letting go. At that point, the retired sergeant saw that drastic action was required. “So I let go of the collar and I got about knee-deep into the water and started pounding on the gator’s head until he eventually let go,” he told the news outlet.

alligator and man involved in a fierce tug of war after the reptile grabbed dog
Alligator | Representational Image Pexels - Pixabay

Man And Dog Won

The gator, perhaps hurting from the terrible blows that Tweddale landed on its head, opened its jaws, which then freed the dog. The retired staff sergeant and his dog instantly climbed ashore to safety, with the former immediately calling emergency services. While Tweddale sustained only minor scratches, his dog’s front leg was almost severed and needed emergency surgery, reports say.

In an interview with WFLA, the dog owner revealed that when he pulled his pet back up, he could see the bones and looked like the lower limbs hanging by a shred. “They put metal plates and screws in and were able to reconstruct it that way. We’re hoping that he can regain full use of his paws after this,” the retired staff sergeant told the station.

The Hunter Becomes The Hunted

Today, Tweddale is showing his determination to catch the offending alligator. With the help of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Service, the retired sergeant has set a trap for the reptile, turning the tables on the hunter and making it the one being hunted.

He told WFLA that the trapper did not have anything to use for bait, so he grabbed one of his roosters and is using him as bait for their trap. “We haven’t had any luck yet. We love our dog a lot and I’d fight tooth and nail for him,” Tweddale said.