Retired Police Dog Survives Run-in With Alligator

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Arek may have thought he’d see less action in his retirement, but that was hardly the case when the 7-year-old Belgian malinois – a former Palmetto police dog – suffered injuries at the mouth of a nine-foot alligator behind his home the other day.

Arek’s owner, Chris Leister, was out front when he heard a scuffle going down near the water.

“Next thing I know, I hear a help,” Leister told the Bradenton Herald in the wake of the incident.“[Arek] comes from behind the bushes and he’s got this big rip and tear on his paw.”

Trappers, dispatched after Leister called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for help, were still trying to locate the gator at press time.

Arek, who is expected to recover fully from his injuries, was treated and released at Ellenton Animal Hospital.
Trappers speculated that Arek must have bitten the gator back, that a predator that large wouldn’t have been so quick to let go.

“I’d expect him to fight through everything,” Leister said. “It’s what they’re trained to do, is fight through anything.”