PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Trent Tweddale and his dog Loki are recovering after a Monday morning walk on their Wesley Chapel farm turned vicious.
“The dog had his front paws in the river here that swelled after all the rain and the dog was attacked by a gator,” explained Tweddale.
According to Tweddale, a nearly 13-foot gator grabbed his 6-year-old rescue pup and pulled him into the water. Tweddale, a former Army staff sergeant, quickly reacted.
“I grabbed the dog’s collar to try to pull him back and I ended up in a tug of war match with this gator and the gator was not letting go,” he said. “So I let go of the collar and I got about knee-deep into the water and started pounding on the gator’s head until he eventually let go.”
Tweddale got away with minor scratches but Loki had to undergo emergency surgery after his front leg was nearly severed.
“When I pulled him back up, the bones were out and it looks like the arm was just hanging by a shred,” said Tweddale. “They put metal plates and screws in and were able to reconstruct it that way. We’re hoping that he can regain full use of his paws after this.”
In the meantime, Tweddale tells WFLA.com he won’t rest until he catches their attacker. With the help of Florida Fish and Wildlife, he has set a trap for the gator on his property.
“The trapper did not have any bait, so I grabbed one of my roosters and we used him as bait for the trap. We haven’t had any luck yet,” said Tweddale. “We love our dog a lot and I’d fight tooth and nail for him.”
MORE WFLA+ HEADLINES: