A German shepherd came to the rescue of a 7-year-old girl when a venomous Eastern diamondback rattlesnake appeared in a backyard in Tampa, Florida.
The dog refused to back down, even when bitten three times. The dog, Haus, is a hero.
“It shows you that a rescue dog, for us, paid it forward by protecting my family,” said Adam DeLuca.
Now, hundreds of donors are coming to the family’s rescue, quickly topping the goal of $15,000 to help pay for the antivenin needed to keep the dog alive. By Friday, $35,000 had been raised.
Haus is still recovering in the Intensive Care Unit of Tampa’s Blue Pearl Emergency Veterinary and Specialty Hospital, and is being treated with anti-venom and painkillers, said Dr. John Gicking.
“Without the pain medication, he’s in pain. He’s responsive, he’s alert, and his leg is swollen and uncomfortable,” the doctor said.
The snake’s venom cause damage to the dog’s kidneys. Vets now expect a full recovery, but it won’t be cheap. Each day in the ICU costs between $1,000 to $1,500, and each vial of anti-venom costs $618. Each day, Haus is averaging 4 or 5 vials as the poison leaves his system.
The response to the fundraising effort started by a family friend has been “overwhelming,” said DeLuca. After Haus leaves the hospital in a few days, the unused donations will go to a local rescue organization.
Haus was adopted just two months ago from a rescue organization, but they knew he would risk his life to their children. “He just exceeded our expectations all the way around,” said DeLuca. “Right away, the kids were hugging and loving on him, he always took it, he never did anything. Whenever anyone came to the door, he would start barking and try to be protective. He has just been an amazing dog.
He’s the type of dog that when you want to go buy a dog, you pay thousands of dollars and that’s the dog you get. But we adopted him and got him for free.”
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