4-year-old Zayden and 1 ½-year-old Mallory were enjoying an average day playing in their grandmother’s yard in southwest Florida. They were romping about with the family pit bull, Slayer, and their other pit bull mix, Paco, when suddenly the dogs began barking at something mysterious in the grass.
Their urgent barking alerted their grandmother, Melissa Butt, that something was amiss. She rushed the children inside, then went back to check on her pooches. They had discovered a venomous snake, who very suddenly attacked. The snake wound up biting both of the dogs—Paco on the arm and Slayer on the nose.
“Slayer grabbed the snake in his mouth and killed it,” reported Butt. But although the snake was dead, Slayer began suffering from the venomous bite and quickly deteriorated. His face began to dramatically swell up and he was having trouble breathing. Thankfully, Butt was able to quickly get both dogs to the vet where they were treated with antivenin (which fights off the poison in snake venom).
“There’s nothing I can say or do to show how grateful I am,” Butt told Today.com. “How do you thank someone for saving your loved ones?”
Butt has had the dogs since puppyhood and always knew they were heroes. (In fact, she had often told her grandkids that nothing bad would ever happen to them so long as Slayer and Paco were around.) Fortunately, Paco was able to go home within a day, and Slayer saw marked improvement after a second dose of antivenin and was released a few days later. Upon arriving home, Zayden told his grandmother “Slayer protects me. He will always protect me,” and then snuggled him up in a blanket.
Butt is incredibly thankful that her dogs intervened before the snake got anywhere near her much-smaller grandchildren. “Our pets aren’t our pets. They are 100 percent family members. This just proves they deserve to be.”
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