(WBBH/NBC News) A 4-month old puppy pulled from an alligator’s mouth now has a new job: Sheriff’s deputy.
Video of Richard Wilbanks rescuing his puppy Gunner from the jaws of the gator went viral last month.
Wilbanks, his wife and Gunner were out for a Sunday morning stroll near their Lee County home when the puppy was grabbed by a gator.
“I heard him yelp and I looked around and saw the alligator out swimming in the pond with him,” Wilbanks recalls.
Without so much of a flinch, Wilbanks ran right into the pond.
“I just wasn’t going to let him have my puppy for breakfast,” he says.
Eventually, he was able to free Gunner from the gator’s mouth, all without losing his cigar.
“I didn’t even realize when I came up out of the water that I still had it in my mouth,” Wilbanks laughs.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office acknowledged Gunner’s bravery Tuesday, making him part of the Deputy Dogs team.
Now the pup and his owners will assist the sheriff’s office teaching children about safety.
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