Dog Recovering At FVS After Alligator Attack

WATCH VIDEO: FVS Vets Care for Dog After Gator Attack

By Josh Rojas, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, November 4, 2010

TAMPA –A dog is recovering after being attacked and dragged underwater by a 6-foot gator in its owner’s Tampa backyard near the Hillsborough River on Thursday.

The Jack Russell Terrier named Lizabeth now has puncture wounds on its body from being inside the jaws of a gator.

Lizabeth’s owner said the gator grabbed the dog as it was walking on some rocks along the Hillsborough River in Tampa.

The gator submerged underwater with the dog, which is when the owner said he grabbed his handgun and started shooting into the water to scare the gator into releasing Lizabeth.

The owner said the tactic eventually worked.

After scaring the gator, the owner used a pole to fish his dog out of the water and proceeded to give it CPR to get it breathing again.

Veterinarian Miryam Reems, who is with the Florida Veterinary Specialists in Tampa, said Lizabeth is one lucky dog.

“He hung her upside down a bunch of water came out and she started to spontaneously ventilate again,” she said. “Which is remarkable, actually.”

After the dog’s rescue, a trapper managed to snag the gator and drag it to shore. The gator ended up measuring 6-foot, 4-inches long.

The dog’s owner says he is relieved the gator is now out of the river in his backyard.

Reems said at first she wasn’t sure if Lizabeth was going to survive, but the 9-year-old terrier is a fighter.

“She’s made a dramatic improvement,” she said.

As for the gator, it is now considered a nuisance and will be put down.

Reems said she is still going to monitor Lizabeth’s condition closely to make sure its wounds don’t get infected.

The dog’s owner said he is now going to build a fence between his yard and the river.

The story originally ran on Bay News 9 on November 4, 2010.