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72-Year-Old Florida Man Saves Pet Dog From Alligator Attack

A Florida dog owner launched a daring attack on a 6-foot alligator that had the man's canine companion between its jaws, The Palm Beach Post reports. 

Gary Murphy, 72, was at his home in Palm City, about 80 miles north of Miami, on Thursday evening when he heard his West Highland terrier named "Doogie" making noise in the backyard.

Murphy found his beloved pet in the mouth of an alligator that had entered the yard from marshland behind the property, and launched a rescue bid by jumping on the reptile's backing and hitting it on the head.

"I had loafers on and I hit the back of that gator. It was like jumping on a pile of rocks," Murphy told the newspaper. 

The alligator let go of Doogie, who needed veterinary treatment for deep gouges, lung injuries and liver damage, but was expected to make a full recovery.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission warned it was alligator mating season -- making the reptiles more active -- and suggested pet owners keep their animals on a leash, especially around water.

Newscore contributed to this report