A Florida family is devastated that an eight-month-old pit bull died Tuesday after protecting two boys from a venomous snake.
Gary and Gina Richardson's sons were in their backyard Monday in Sumter Country cleaning their dog Zeus' water bowl when a coral snake slithered undetected up to the two children.
“All of a sudden, he started attacking the snake which was close to my son and he was bit four times,” Gary told Fox 35.
The family rushed Zeus to a vet in Ocala.
“I knew when he first came in that something was wrong and (it) was very traumatic because I knew he was dying,” Gary said.
The vet gave the puppy medicine and the family was hopeful that he would get better, but he died the next day.
“He’s been a member of the family,” Gina said. “It just killed us. We just knew the antivenom was going to work.”
Zeus had lived with the Richardsons since he was born in January.
“Pit bulls are the most loyal dog I know of, and I’ve had a lot of different animals in my life,” Gary said.
“If you find (a pit bull) that’s aggressive, most likely, it’s because they weren’t treated right,” Gina said. “If you treat them right, they would give their life for you and I owe my son’s life to him.”