Man says dog saved his life from rattlesnake bite

LAKE PLACID, Fla. (WFLA) – A monster rattlesnake attacked and nearly killed a dog in Lake Placid Thursday evening.

The dog, Puppers, is getting back to normal after the scary incident with the snake, which was more than four feet long.

Puppers is Tom Herbert’s pet. Herbert has three other dogs that enjoy running around his 2.5-acre property.

“It struck out at Puppers, and I immediately tried to get her away from the snake but she was insisting on getting between me and the snake,” Herbert said.

After a few more strikes from the recoiling rattler, he took his dogs inside and gave them all a once over. “I said honey, ‘I think we lucked out.’ And everything looked like nobody had gotten bit,” Herbert said.

Sadly, Puppers wasn’t in the clear. “About an hour later I looked over at Puppers, and she didn’t look right. Her face was starting to get real swollen,” Herbert said.

He rushed Puppers to a veterinary clinic in Winter Haven – an hour and a half away. “I can’t thank him enough. He stayed with her all night long in intensive care, and at first he didn’t know if Puppers would make it,” Herbert said.

After several vials of anti-venom and an overnight stay, Herbert got the good news. Puppers made it through the worst part. He’s convinced Puppers protected him and his other dogs.

“That dog would not let me get near the snake. She wanted to be between me and the snake, and I wanted to do the same. I wanted to keep her away from the snake,” Herbert said.

Pupper’s jaw is still a little swollen. Herbert plans to burn the debris pile very soon.

His bill to get Puppers healthy again is more than $4,000. He borrowed the money and worried about how he’ll pay it back. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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