A Florida woman faced her fears this week when she fended off an alligator after the animal attacked her pet dog in her backyard.
Stephany Pineda told NBC Miami that on Wednesday, June 8, she went outside of her home in Plantation, Florida to find that a seven-and-a-half foot alligator had her 2-year-old French bulldog Gloria’s head in its mouth.
Pineda was initially alerted when she heard her mother screaming before discovering that her dog was caught halfway under the fence in her yard. The dog's head was on the other side of the fence, in the alligator's mouth, while the rest of her body was on the family's property.
"I started screaming like crazy, 'It's killing her!'" Pineda recalled.
Pineda jumped into action, pulling on Gloria's bottom half while the alligator still had the dog's head in its mouth, continuously screaming at the animal. Eventually, the alligator let go of the dog and swam away.
"I can’t remember, like everything went silent in my head and I grabbed her but I screamed so loud and my mom was screaming so loud that he let go," Pineda said.
Both Pineda and Gloria were not seriously injured during the incident, though the dog did suffer a few bite marks on her head. Despite the positive outcome, Pineda shared that she is still shaken from the incident and is worried about the safety of her family, especially her 4-month-old son and Gloria.
While the family’s yard on the water is fenced in, Pineda and her husband, Will Ubario, believe that due to heavy rain the week prior, some of the dirt underneath the fence washed away, which created a large enough hole for the alligator to fit under and grab the dog’s head.
After the attack, the alligator remained close by, so a team of alligator trappers captured the reptile and transported it to an animal sanctuary.
Both Pineda and her family were shocked by her response to the attack, given that she is terrified of iguanas and cockroaches.
“It’s surprising just because she is scared of a lot of stuff so whenever she said ‘I got the dog out of the gator’s mouth’ I was just like ‘You did what?’” Ubario said. “She just didn’t think, she just reacted. Those are those moments that they could be good or bad.”