An eight-month-old pit bull d.i.e.d after being ʙɪᴛᴛᴇɴ four times by a snake while attempting to protect his owner’s children. Zeus, the dog stood between a coral snake and brothers Oriley and Orion as they cleaned a water bowl outside the family’s Sumter County, Florida house. The children had not seen the d.e.a.dly snake crawl towards them, but the pit bull noticed and ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋed it on Monday, according to Gary Richardson, the children’s father.
The family took the puppy to Ocala Veterinary Hospital for anti-ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍ ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ, but the dog was left in ᴄʀɪᴛɪᴄᴀʟ condition and .d.i.e.d the next day. Zeus, who had been with them since January, was described by Richardson as “the most faithful dog I know,” and he said he owed his son’s life to him. The family recounted the event, which occurred at 6.15 p.m. on Monday and resulted in their dog’s .d.e.a.t.h.
Orion saw Zeus’s eyes and characterized them as ‘bugged out’ as he lay down waiting for his dish to be washed. ‘All of a sudden, he started ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋing the snake that was close to my son and shaking it around, and he was bit four times,’ Richardson told Fox 35 Orlando. Zeus’ face swelled enormously, and as he removed his head from the earth, they saw the lifeless body of a red, yellow, and black serpent.
‘I knew something was wrong when he first walked in, and (it) was quite ᴛʀᴀᴜᴍᴀtic because I knew he was d.y.i.n.g,’ Richardson continued. During his visit to the clinic, the dog required two vials of antiᴠᴇɴᴏᴍ and ʙᴀᴛᴛʟᴇd to stay awake as the family spoke to him. ‘They got him stable enough for me to FaceTime after about an hour and a half, which was amazing since Gary and the kids wanted to chat with him,’ mother Georgina Richardson tweeted. He kept falling asleep on FaceTime, but he tried his hardest to interact and show his human children and Gary that he will fɪɢʜᴛ this.’
Zeus d.i.e.d the next morning, at 6.30 a.m. on Tuesday. Later, the Richardsons gathered around the puppy, along with the dog’s mother Sega, ‘to say farewell,’ Georgina wrote,’ she is also shattered.’ ‘We are beyond ᴅᴇᴠᴀsᴛᴀᴛᴇᴅ right now,’ she continued.
He gave his life to protect our son. I will be eternally grateful to him.’ Online, the family has received an outpouring of love and support. Gary said of the cherished pet, ‘He devoted his life to express how much he loved my family.’ Pit bulls are the most loyal dogs I’ve ever known, and I’ve had many different animals in my life.’
The family established a Gofundme page to help cover his veterinary expenses, which exceeded $1,000, as well as to share the story of their dog’s brave act. Georgina stated that she hoped Zeus would live on “as an ambassᴀᴅor for the pit bull breed,” and she protested against the “negative publicity” pit bulls receive.
‘If you discover (a ᴠɪᴏʟᴇɴᴛ pit bull), it’s most likely because they weren’t properly cared for,’ she noted. They will devote their lives for you if you treat them well, and I owe my son’s life to him.’