Hero dog takes rattlesnake bite to protect owner in North Port


NORTH PORT, Fla., (WFLA) — 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 nine-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.

Related Content: Watch out for Copperhead Snakes at Sleeping Giant State Park

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.

The Florida Poison Control Center can be reached at 1-800-222-1222.

Callers can send photos of the bite and/or the snake, so poison specialists can immediately determine the type of snake involved. Poison centers can then work with hospital emergency staff to asses patients and administer the correct antivenom.

The city also recommends knowing the nearest emergency veterinary hospital, their hours of operation and whether the hospital carries antivenom.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s