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Hero Jumps Into Pond To Save Friend’s Dog From Gator
Photo: Luke Franke/Naples Daily News

When Donald Copps was watching his friend’s dog while on a golfing trip, he never imagined the terrifying adventure that nature had in store for them.

Copps’ friend went on a long cruise, and asked him to dog sit. While dog sitting, Copps and his friends went golfing in Naples, Florida, and took the pooch along for the fun.

The dog, Carbon, decided to take a break from chasing golf balls, and go swimming in the nearby pond. Unbeknownst to anyone present, there was a seven-foot alligator waiting in that pond.

Though Carbon is a competitive dock jumper, he was no match for the gator, which began rapidly swimming toward him. When Copps saw the potentially lethal situation start to unfold, he jumped in the water without thinking twice.

Carbon dog saved from alligator.
Photo: Luke Franke/Naples Daily News

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He splashed around in the water, trying to make a commotion. His friends, Brian and Yuliya Vail, also began making a lot of noise from the shore in hopes of distracting the alligator from eating the dog. The gator had already begun biting down on Carbon’s thigh, but the great racket made by the humans distracted it just long enough to loosen its grip on the dog. This brief pause gave Carbon the chance he needed to make his escape.

By the time Copps understood exactly what was going on, Carbon had made it out of the water, but he was still chest-deep, and only a few feet separated him from the alligator. He slowly backed away from it, and made his way over to Carbon to examine him.

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The dog had numerous puncture wounds, along with lacerations. Cobbs rushed home to get dressed, then transported the dog to the emergency veterinarian. There, Carbon was treated for his injuries. A drainage tube was inserted into his leg to prevent the accumulation of fluid.

Hero Jumps Into Pond To Save Friend’s Dog From Gator
Photo: Luke Franke/Naples Daily News

Veterinarian Lon Miyahira stated that Carbon was very lucky and attributed the lack of serious injuries to Copps’ quick thinking.

A week after the incident, Carbon was back to his old self, jumping around and enjoying life. He is likely grateful to be alive, knowing what sort of danger Cobb saved him from.

Copps should be praised as a hero for his above-and-beyond efforts. Not many people would have risked their safety and their lives jumping in an alligator-inhabited pond to save a dog. This man clearly cares for this dog, and his friend (the owner).

But those praises might not go far. Hilariously, when asked if he would do this all over again, or jump in to save his wife, his response was, “Maybe. Depends on what kind of day we’re having.”