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‘It’s a parent instinct’: Florida man jabs alligator in eye to save his dog

The 62-year-old said he didn’t even think twice about going after the alligator to save his 8-month-old dog, Jake.
Credit: WFLA / Mike McCoy

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — A Pasco County man and his dog are both recovering after an alligator grabbed his beloved pet during a walk this week and he jumped into action to fight the creature off.

Mike McCoy said he and his friend walk their dogs together every day in Holiday. During their walk Tuesday morning, he said, a gator grabbed his 8-month-old dog Jake.

“I didn’t see it, but I knew it because of the death cry,” he said. “So that was it…gotta get him. And I did, thank you Jesus.”

McCoy told WFLA he knew he had to act fast once the realized the gator had his dog. The whole ordeal, he said, lasted just a few minutes.

“So I stuck my thumb through his eye…picked him up so he couldn’t get anywhere and he finally let go of my dog,” he explained. “And before he swam off, he busts me with a hand bite. And that was it.”

The 62-year-old said he didn’t even think twice about going after the alligator.

“No second thoughts. Can’t. You don’t have time,” he said. “It’s a parent instinct. But I’m glad I have it because I wouldn’t have him.”

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials confirm they were contacted by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office around 8:30 a.m. May 11 regarding an alligator bite incident near Sweetbriar Drive. The FWC says it is investigating and coordinating with a contracted nuisance alligator trapper.

The trapper caught the gator on Thursday. According to FWC, it was 7 feet long.

McCoy said he’s glad the alligator was caught because of how close it was to a school.

“I think we were put there for a reason,” he said. “So maybe God wanted me there with him so, problem resolved?”

McCoy is just happy he and his dog are both OK.

“We could have came out a heck of a lot worse. I mean, I have no tendon damage [or] broken bones,” he said. “He has no broken bones or punctures to his vitals.”