A King Charles Spaniel went from almost being an alligator’s dinner to becoming a police deputy. The pup, named Gunner, was honored by the Lee Country Florida Sheriff’s Office and named a puppy deputy.
The sheriff’s office held a ceremony to induct Gunner into the ranks of officers, and the adorable moment was shared by ABC 30. Gunner is seen giving kisses to the sheriff honoring him, and what’s even better is Gunner looks healthy, happy and truly honored.
“Do you swear to uphold the constitutional law for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Gunner?” Sheriff Carmine Marceno said, as reported by ABC 30. “OK. This is a big day, OK? You are going to be a detective now. Here we go.”
While there isn’t an actual official position for Gunner on the force, he and owner Richard Wilbanks are asked to watch for suspicious behavior in their own communities.
It seems Wilbanks is already an expert at that. In October, he saved Gunner from the bite of a small alligator who wasted no time snatching the dog up. The whole encounter was caught on video, but is definitely difficult to watch.
At the start, all that’s visible is Wilbanks in a pond. Gunner was pulled underwater by the gator, who wasn’t going to let go of the dog easily. Wilbanks pulled the alligator, and Gunner, above water, eventually freeing the pup to run from the gator. It appears Gunner is healthy and safe now, despite the very close brush with death.
Though the video went viral in October and was shared by multiple news outlets, audio of the video was censored because of the dog’s, apparently traumatic, cries of fear.
The only reason Wilbanks’ heroic rescue moment was caught on camera is because of the Florida Wildlife Federation and the F Stop foundation. The two partnered to install cameras to capture amazing moments of wildlife, but no one quite expected such a harrowing and scary rescue moment to be caught on film.
For Gunner, life has just changed a little since his alligator experience. Wilbanks explained Gunner is a little afraid of the water now (can anyone blame him?) and his owners constantly keep him on a leash, instead of letting him run ahead.
All in all, Gunner was lucky. The internet is full of alligator videos, including this one that shows a giant alligator snacking on a duck, most of which don’t end as happily as Gunner’s did.