Hero dog takes rattlesnake bite to protect owner

(Courtesy: WFLA)

NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) – A woman in Florida says her dog “Beast” saved her from a possible deadly bite from a rattlesnake.

The City of North Port Government received a report of a Diamondback rattlesnake biting a dog in the area of Price and Biscayne.

The city has received two other reports of smaller snake bites in the past year.

Owner Sandy Ruggerio said the dog is a 9-year-old American Staffordshire named Beast.

She said Beast saved her and her two other dogs from being bitten by the snake in her backyard.

“He loves people, but he has to protect his mommy and his daddy, anybody that he loves,” Ruggerio said.

Ruggerio heard the terrifying rattle, but never saw the snake until Beast boldly stepped in.

Beast killed the snake and remains at a veterinarian’s office in Venice. The dog’s blood cell count is low and Beast is still responding to treatment.

“Everybody loves Beast,” Ruggerio said. “Beast is everybody’s baby.”

“He’s a big, loving bear. He thinks he’s a little dog, a little lap dog. He wants to sit in your lap. He gives lots of kisses.”

The city is now offering tips to residents about Florida’s poisonous snakes.