A pit bull is being hailed a hero after it died protecting his family from a venomous snake in Florida on Monday.
Georgina Richardson said her son was playing with their dogs outside of their Ocala-area home when he saw Zeus jump toward him and grab what he described as a “rope,” which turned out to be a coral snake.
A few moments later, Richardson’s oldest son, Orion, went outside to clean the dog’s water bucket and discovered Zeus on the ground with a “bugged out” look in his eyes.
Richardson and her husband noticed the pit bull’s mouth was swollen, picked him up and found a headless red, yellow and black snake under him.
“I screamed at my husband that it’s a coral snake,” Richardson recalled.
Frantically, the couple scurried to put Zeus in the backseat of their car. Richardson’s husband remained home with their four children as she drove Zeus to a nearby animal hospital.
Veterinarians immediately administered the dog a vile of anti-venom and another later in the evening. Hospital staff then informed Richardson that they would call her the following morning with an update on Zeus’s condition.
She woke up early the next morning and called the hospital to receive the bad news that Zeus had died.
“I just started bawling, my kids woke up and heard me crying and then they too started crying,” Richardson said.
The family loaded themselves in the car, along with Zeus’s mother Sega, to say their goodbyes to their “hero pit bull.”
“I can only hope that Zeus lives on as an ambassador for the pit bull breed and the wonderful family members that they are,” Richardson said as she recalled Zeus’s heroic tale that took his life.
A GoFundMe was set up to help the family pay for Zeus’s medical expenses. Click here if you would like to donate.