Dog Fights Off Shark After It Attacks Owner

Bill Pan
By Bill Pan
August 19Trendingshare
Dog Fights Off Shark After It Attacks Owner
A great white shark in a file photo. (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

A California man said his dog put up a heroic fight when a shark attacked him while he was fishing.

James White told NBC Bay Area he left his 1-year-old pit bull, Darby, in his car nearby while he went fishing on the shore of Sonoma County’s Bodega Bay on July 21.

About ten minutes in, he felt a strong pull on the line and struggled to reel in his catch.

“The only way I think I was able to get the line back is because it was swimming towards me,” the Rohnert Park man told the news outlet.

White had his feet in the water when he realized what he had caught—a 6-foot-long sevengill shark. When he went in to remove the hook, however, it got free and sank its teeth into his leg and wouldn’t let go.

“Immediately there was blood everywhere, the first bite punctured an artery,” White told NBC Bay Area. “The pressure was intense.”

Unable to free his leg from the shark’s jaws, he screamed for help. That’s when Darby heard him.

The 100-pound pit bull found a way to open one of the car doors, charged toward his owner, and bit into the shark’s gills.

It turned out, though, the harder Darby bit the shark, the tighter the animal’s grip got on White’s bleeding leg.

“And I told him, ‘No back off’ and then [Darby] repositioned and grabbed it by the tail,” said White. “He literally ran up the hill with it and pulled it off my leg.”

White told NBC Bay Area that he then threw the shark back into the water and it quickly swam away. He said he’s grateful for his dog and thinks that if it weren’t for Darby, he could have a lot more serious injuries.

“He’s been a part of the family from day one. Just now a little more,” White said. “If it wasn’t for him, I would have been a lot worse.”

While dogs and sharks rarely encounter, there have been some reports of the two facing off.

A video posted on Twitter earlier this year shows a shark swimming up to a dog standing in shallow water. When it gets close, however, a pack of dogs standing nearby rush toward the animal, barking and chasing it, trying to scare it away.

The shark eventually gives up and swims away.

The video posted on June 25 garnered more than 8 million views, nearly 40,000 retweets, and almost 125,000 likes.

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