WPB pet owner saves dog from gator

By Peter Schaller - email
Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A man takes on an alligator to save his dog. He lost parts of his fingers in the process, but, he says, it was worth it to save a member of his family.

"I just wasn't going to let him kill her. I knew he'd kill her if I didn't do something," said owner David Grounds.

He put his own life on the line to save his dog. From his hospital bed, David Grounds tells us why he took on a gator to save his 7-year-old terrier, Mandy. "I've got four boys. It would have been like the gator got one of the boys. You just can't let it happen."

Mr. Grounds and Mandy were out for a backyard bathroom break early Sunday morning. From the porch, he saw the gator coming straight for his dog, screaming, he took off running toward the water. That's when the jaws came down on Mandy. "When I got there, he had her by the stomach and back, right in the midsection."

Mr. Grounds pried open the jaws and freed his dog; he lost two fingers. Mandy, chipper, but riddled with reminders of her close call, received stitches and a lot of gashing over her stomach and teeth marks all over her back.

Neighbors, watching over Mandy for now, have snapshots of the gator that almost took her life. "I think he was seven foot. They said between 6 and 7 feet," said one neighbor.

Mandy just made it back from the Royal Palm Animal Hospital. She's expected to make a full recovery.

They're calling Mr. Grounds a hero who's recovering at Palms West Hospital. Besides the surgery for his fingers, doctors are keeping a close watch for any infections from the bacteria in the gator's mouth.