Pit bull protects owner from venomous snake in Middle Tennessee


DAVIDSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Snakebite cases increase during the summer months and a Middle Tennessee woman says her dog kept her from becoming a victim.

“There are those dogs that will put their life on the line for you and Arlo is one of those.”

On Monday night, Haley McCormack was heading inside her home after work, it was already dark and she didn’t see the copperhead snake lurking near her front porch.

“As I pass the corner of my front point, the snake is already recoiled back. And he [McCormack’s dog] lunged out and actually grabbed it by it’s tail.”

Her pit bull, Arlo, killed the copperhead snake before it could bite her. While trying to kill the snake, McCormack said Arlo was bitten three to four times in the face.

McCormack said within minutes Arlo’s face and neck began to swell and his breathing became heavy.

The dog was rushed to the emergency vet and doctors administered antivenom.

Dr. Whitney Long with Nashville Veterinary Specialists told News 2 that timing is crucial when pets are bitten by venomous snakes,

“The longer you wait, the more damage that can be done.”

Long said that their facility always sees an increase in snake bites during the summer months,

“Maybe a case every two weeks or so.”

Long added that most emergency clinics should have antivenom for dogs that are bitten. After a bite, she recommended that pet-owners elevate the bite above their animal’s heart.

McCormack said that doctors gave Arlo a positive prognosis. He’s been prescribed pain medication and McCormack has to monitor his swelling.

She added that she’s grateful for her dog’s bravery, “I could’ve gotten bit. He could’ve ignored the snake, he could’ve ran off. But he chose to put himself in front of me.”

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