Deputy Dog: Puppy pulled from mouth of alligator gets new job

Gunner to help teach children about safety, officials say

A man walking his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy along a waterway in Estero saved the dog’s life after it was grabbed by an alligator, according to a report from WINK News.

LEE COUNTY, Fla. – A Florida dog whose rescue went viral last month has a brand new job.

Gunner, a 5-month-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, is now a “deputy dog” with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

Video showing the dog’s owner, Richard Wilbanks, jumping into the water to save Gunner from a gator was shared thousands of times on social media.

Deputies say Gunner will work with them to help educate children about safety.

“Do you swear to up hold the constitutional law for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Gunner,” Sheriff Carmine Marceno asked the pup.

In a video shared by the Sheriff’s Office Wilbanks retold the story of the wild encounter when he rescued Gunner from the jaws of an alligator.

“I just jumped in the water and caught up with the alligator and got my hands on ‘em,” Wilbanks said, adding “I just wasn’t going to let it have my puppy for breakfast.”

The images of the dramatic rescue were captured Oct. 25 by a Florida Wildlife Federation camera.

In a recent interview with News 6 Wilbanks said Gunner was not seriously injured.

“The alligator is still in the pond. It’s just fine. Gunner is fine, I’m fine and so am I,” Wilbanks said.

Meet Gunner! This 4-month-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the newest recruit to Deputy Dogs! Back in October,...

Posted by Lee County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, December 8, 2020

About the Author:

Cathleigh is a newscast producer and has been with News 6 since 2014. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in communications, with a focus in broadcast journalism. Cathleigh produces the 5:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. newscasts.