A dog is believed to be man’s best friend, yet a Florida pit bull went above and beyond to protect his family, even putting his own life on the line. While attempting to save his friend, Zeus, a 9-month-old dog, was killed by a venomous snake. Georgina Richardson’s baby was outside the family’s Sumter County home, setting up a dish of water for the dog, when the puppy discovered the coral snake.
“I still can’t hold my tear beck when I talk about it,” Gina Richardson, 33. “We will forever be grateful for what Zeus did for our family.”
Oriley Richardson, 10, was playing in the yard with his family on September 23 when he observed Zeus lunging towards him and tugging at what he thought was a string between his jaws.
“Suddenly it started ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋɪɴɢ the snake near my son and it ʙɪᴛ him four times. I knew when he first came here that something was wrong and (it was) very traumatic because I knew he was going to die,” said dad Gary Richardson.
Gina’s mother took Zeus to the veterinarian right away, while his father stayed at home with the kids. Gary said, “We just know anti-venom will work.” Despite reacting quickly to Zeus’s snakebite and rushing him to the veterinarian’s office, he was unable to succumb to the snake’s poison.
‘On FaceTime, he kept falling asleep, but he tried hard to communicate and show his human kids and Gary that he will overcome this,’ she said.
He died the next morning at 6.30 a.m., and his family, including Zeus’ mother Sega, gathered around his body to say their goodbyes.
She added that her children were unable to say their final goodbyes to their beloved dog, who died on her son’s birthday and was preserved by him.
Zeus’ story touched many hearts online and netizens were as disheartened as the Richardson family. Many donated towards the high vet bill for the pup’s treatment and showered love to the family. “He will be remembered by the many hearts he has touched across the world now,” she added.
Georgina added: ‘We are beyond broken right now. He gave his life to keep our son safe. I am forever grateful to him.’
“Pit bulls are the most faithful dog,” the family stated, despite the fact that many people fear pit bulls and there are myths about them being violent and not a suitable breed to be around children. If you come across an aggressive pit bull, it’s most likely because they weren’t properly cared for. She said, “If you treat them correctly, they will offer their lives for you, and I will devote my son’s life to him.”
Rest in peace, sweet Zeus. You died a hero.