Dogs are often animals that are mistaken to be aggressive – in particular pitbulls. For one family in Thonotosassa, Florida, though, what seemed to be an aggressive turn from obedient dogs turned out be an act of heroism.
47-year-old Melissa Butt had her beloved pit-bulls, Paco and Slayer, in the garden with her grandchildren. When she heard them barking ferociously, though, she freaked. What was going on? They were always such friendly, kind dogs. On this August morning she had left the dogs to watch over Zayden, 4, and Mallory, just 18 months, while she attended to her garden. But soon she heard roaring barks came from behind her and she rushed around to see what was going on.
Seemingly Violent Behaviour
Standing firm at a particular patch of grass, the two dogs seemed transfixed on something – but not the kids. Getting the little ones inside quickly (who were totally unharmed) and returning with her husband Daniel, the problem was then revealed. The dogs were not threatening the children – they had found a venomous snake in the garden. Suggested to be a Copperhead Viper, it’s a deadly form of snake and was only a short distance from where the children were.
To think the fear was over the dogs! Instead, they’d gathered the attention of the snake to make sure the little ones would be safe; heroes of the highest kind.
Young Paco had noticed the snake first, and raised the alarm, as the larger Slayer stepped in to make sure things wouldn’t go any further. Trying to cajole the snake out of the way, it was having nothing of it – and then it launched an attack, biting poor Paco, then it turned on Slayer and got him too!
Biting Paco on the leg and then Slayer twice on the face, Slayer showed his strength by barely noticing the bite and eventually returned fire, grabbing the snake in its jaws. The next rush was for the dogs to get them to hospital and make sure that they would be OK.
The Drama Explained
Speaking to CBS News, Melissa explained how the drama unfolded. “[after biting Paco,] that’s when Slayer grabbed the snake in his mouth and killed it,” she said. Butt continued by sharing that Slayer “almost bit [the snake] in half”. She said.
Since the venom of a Copperhead can be pretty powerful, the dogs had to be treated ASAP or face a tragic end. As Slayer’ face began to swell rapidly, they were both struggling to breathe and were obviously in trouble. Getting them in the car and racing off to the vet, things looked bleak.
Thankfully, despite the potency of the poison to a dog, the veterinarians were able to help the dogs – Quickly administering the antidotes, both dogs were treated to help make sure they could manage the pain and the illness. Slayer, though, was going to need more help – a single anti-venom would not be enough for him as he’d take in so much.
A Back-breaking Bill Threatens Happy Ending
Several courses of antidote and a few more days in the hospital, though, and Slayer was back up and running just fine, ready to recover. However, the massive costs of treatment left Melissa in a tough spot; paying for the treatment was going to be impossible. Then, Frankie’s Friends, a charity that helps pet owners manage critical costs for animal care, stepped in. The bills to keep Slayer strong became affordable, and Melissa was able to have a happy ending.
“Frankie’s Friends has been a blessing to our hero[es].” Melissa beamed, “I know my dogs are heroes, and without a doubt saved the lives of my grandchildren. They are too small to have fought something off like that.” On her Facebook page, she added: “As bad as it is, we are lucky and blessed.”