A Florida family mourns the loss of their eight month old pit bull who died protecting two of their four children from a venomous snake.
The children were playing in the family backyard and did not see the venomous snake slither towards them but the pit bull did and attacked the snake. The children noticed the dog attacking something on the ground but thought it was a rope.
While Zeus was doing its best to keep the snake away, one of the children, Orion 11, stepped into the backyard to change Zeus’ water. That was when Zeus decided to lay down on the snake, using his body weight to smother the deadly reptile and prevent it from harming the boys.
The heroic dog was bitten four times by the venomous snake before the dog bit off the snake’s head.
Zeus was later rushed to a nearby animal hospital where staff immediately administered anti-venom.
Sadly, it was already too late and Zeus passed away the following day – the same day as one of the children’s birthday.
“I just started bawling”, Richardson said. “My kids woke up and heard me crying and they too started crying. We were all an emotional wreck”.
The family including Zega, Zeus’ mom, went to the hospital to say goodbye.
“At the hospital, Zega went over to Zeus’ head and put her paws up on the table and took a sniff”, said Richardson. “Her ears came back, she got down, she instantly jumped on the sofa next to me and put her head on my thigh in sorrow. At that moment, not only was my family broken, but his own mother was broken.”
Gina Richardson said she feels forever grateful to Zeus and considers him a hero. “I feel like I may have lost one of my children had he not been there”, she said.
Gary Richardson, the boys’ father, said he hopes Zeus’ selfless act will help change public perception of pit bulls. He gave his life to show how much he loved his family.
The family said they hoped Zeus would live on “as an ambassador for the pit bull breed’ and argued against the bad publicity they receive.
She added: “if you find a pit bull that is aggressive, most likely, it is because they weren’t treated right. If you treat them right, they would give their life for you and I owe my son’s life to him.”