Man rescues dog attacked by alligator in South Carolina neighborhood

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. — A South Carolina man’s routine morning walk took a near-tragic turn when an alligator almost succeeded in snatching his terrier from her leash.

“All of a sudden I heard a whoosh, and then I saw Hannah’s back end in the mouth of a gator,” Bruce Savage told WCIV, recounting the Aug. 11 incident near a pond in his Mount Pleasant neighborhood.

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“The whole thing was probably less than 60 seconds,” Savage said. “Literally, my whole system shut down. My ears shut down. I couldn’t hear anything, except for myself screaming my dog’s names. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

According to WSOC, Savage was able to grab Hannah’s tail and leash to pull her from the gator’s grasp, but the family pet’s tail was bitten off, among other injuries to her backside.

“My kids were like, ‘Well, did you look back?’ And I was like, ‘Heck no, I didn’t look back.’ I was running as fast as I could,” Savage told WCIV.

According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, three fatal alligator encounters have been recorded statewide since 2016, but gator-related injury reports have increased in recent years, especially in the spring and summer months, as more neighborhood developments encroach on alligator habitats, WSOC reported.

Neither animal control nor Gator Getter Consultants were able to locate the alligator in the hours following the attack, WCIV reported.

Meanwhile, the DNR advises anyone near a wetland to remain at least 10 feet from the water’s edge for their safety, the TV station reported.