South Florida man saves dog from alligator’s jaws

February 16, 2017

A relaxing afternoon of a dog chasing golf balls on a course almost had a tragic end. 

According to the Naples Daily News, Donald C. Copps was dogsitting a friend’s 4-year-old black Labrador retriever, Carbon, while the owners were away on vacation. They were on one of the courses at the North Naples, Fla. community of Olde Cypress when Carbon jumped off a dock to cool off in a nearby lake, but unbeknownst to him, there was a seven-foot alligator making its way toward the paddling dog. 

Luckily, Copps noticed what was about to happen and sprang into action. He jumped in the water and splashed his way towards the dog, while two friends yelled at the gator, hoping to distract it. The gator bit Carbon’s left thigh, but thanks to Copps’s quick thinking, managed to escape a worse fate.

Copps loaded a yelping Carbon into a golf cart and took him to the ER, where Carbon received treatment for muscle tears. He was given drainage tubes to prevent infection and wore a cone to keep him from irritating his healing wounds. Within a week, he was fully recovered.

Yuliya Vail, a friend of Copps who witnessed the incident, thought Copps acted heroically. “He jumped in,” she said. “That gator could’ve drowned Carbon. We could have watched him die.”