Richard Wilbanks, 74, spotted his pup Gunner in the unsafe water of his backyard pond in the Fort Myers suburb of Estero and leapt into action.
Wilbanks drags the alligator, with Gunner still in its clutches, through the water and closer to the bank as he forces its mouth open.
Florida Wildlife Federation regional policy director Meredith Budd tells Insider the surveillance cameras that captured the incident were originally set up to monitor wildlife to help people appreciate it better.More news: How to enable the disappearing messages feature on WhatsApp
Eventually, he is able to free Gunner, who runs away yapping. CNN reports the dog had one puncture wound in his belly and is OK after a trip to the veterinarian's office. "It came out of the water like a missile".
Wilbanks told CNN that his hands were "just chewed up", but Gunner is doing OK.
"I never thought an alligator could be that fast".
The camera project began as a way to increase the conversation about how humans and wildlife share the same landscape.More news: Oxford University Covid-19 Vaccine Found To Be 70 Percent Effective
And Wilbanks said he and his family have gained a new appreciation for the wildlife around them.
Willbanks agrees with this sentiment, saying he doesn't want the alligator removed from the pond or destroyed.
The love that we have for our pets is just awesome and there is nothing that would match that type of love, ever.
He still takes Gunner walking, but he keeps the puppy on a leash - and 10 feet from the pond's edge.More news: England expected to go under tougher three-tiered restrictions in December_china