A 9-month-old pit bull, Zeus, lost his life protecting his humans from a coral snake that bit him four times.
A family in Florida is grieving the loss of their beloved pup Zeus who died protecting two of their four kids from a poisonous snake. Speaking to CNN on Sunday, mother Gina Richardson recalled how her 10-year-old son, Oriley, was playing in the family's backyard situated in Webster, Florida, on September 23 when their 9-month-old pit bull suddenly jumped in his direction. Oriely did notice that Zeus was attacking something present on the ground, however, he mistook it for a rope and did not think much about it.
We don’t deserve our dogs, they’re too good. 🙏😞— Nilofar Durrani (@nilofar_durrani) 30 September 2019
What Oriely didn't know was that the rope on the ground was actually a venomous coral snake and little Zeus was trying his best to keep this danger at bay. Zeus managed to keep the deadly creature away from the 10-year-old. However after Orion, 11, stepped into the backyard to change the pup's water, Zeus gave it his all to protect the two. In order to keep the dangerous predator from harming the boys, the brave pooch laid down on the snake and used his body weight to prevent it from approaching the kids.
Gina then explained how Orion noticed something wrong with Zeus's eyes. They looked "bugged out," revealed the mother of four. On inspecting further and turning him over the boy discovered the reptile's corpse beneath the pup. Although Zeus managed to bite the snake's head off and swallow it, it was not before the deadly predator had bitten him four times. The worried family immediately rushed their heroic pup to a nearby veterinary hospital where he was given an anti-venom.
Unfortunately, it was too late for Zeus as the poison had already spread resulting in the death of their loving dog the following day. "I just started bawling," said Gina. "My kids woke up and heard me crying and then they too started crying. We were all an emotional wreck." The whole family, including Zeus's mother Sega, visited the hospital to say goodbye to their brave soul. Describing the heartbreaking moment when Sega found out her kid was dead, Gina said, "Sega goes over to Zeus' head and puts her paws up on the table and takes a sniff."
"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," she added. Expressing her gratefulness towards Zeus, the heartbroken mother considered him a hero for saving her kids' lives. "I feel like I may have lost one of my children had he not been there," she expressed adding that she will be "forever grateful" to the 9-month-old pit bull for risking his life in order to save Orion and Oriely.
"He was a good boy and I loved him with all my heart," said Oriley who has been deeply saddened by Zeus' death. "I played with him all the time. I feel sad and I miss him." The boys' father, Gary Richardson, hopes that Zeus' courageous selfless act would change people's perception they have of pit bulls. "He was my best friend," said Gary. "I'm torn between wanting to be happy that this situation has brought awareness to his breed and their kind and loving nature, and the sorrow of having lost him." According to the New York Post, Gina added, "If you find [a pit bull] that’s aggressive, most likely, it’s because they weren’t treated right."