Zeus was only a puppy, yet he was completely fearless. A brave pitbull puppy gave his life to protect his family from a fatal coral snake bite. This week’s unselfish sacrifice took place in a Florida backyard in the central city of Ocala.
Georgina Richardson, Zeus’ mother, said her son was outdoors playing with their dogs when he seen Zeus lunge toward him and grasp what he described as a “rope,” which turned out to be a coral snake. Orion, Richardson’s oldest son, walked outside a few moments later to clean the dog’s water bucket and spotted Zeus on the ground with a “bugged out” expression in his eyes.
When Richardson and her husband Gary saw the pitbull’s mouth was bloated, they pulled him up and discovered a decapitated red, yellow, and black snake beneath him. “I screamed at my husband that it’s a coral snake,” Richardson recalled. The couple scurried to get Zeus into the backseat of their automobile.
Richardson’s husband stayed at home with their four children as she drove Zeus to a neighboring veterinary clinic. Veterinarians promptly delivered an anti-venom vile to the dog, followed by another later in the evening. Richardson was then advised by hospital staff that she would be contacted the following morning with an update on Zeus’s condition. She awoke early the next morning and called the hospital to learn that Zeus had died.
“I just started bawling, my kids woke up and heard me crying and then they too started crying,” she added. The family piled into the car, along with Zeus’ mother Sega, to say their final goodbyes to their “hero pit bull.” “I can only hope that Zeus lives on as an ambassador for the pitbull breed and the wonderful family members that they are,” Richardson said.