SNAKE BITE SHOCK: DOG DIES PROTECTING PUG
Cherished pet dies trying to protect pint-sized pug pal
A DISTRAUGHT pet owner whose beloved dog was killed by a snake bite is calling on the public to be vigilant.
Rebecca Hall says her dog Ruby, a golden retriever cross labrador, died after being bitten by a tiger snake while trying to protect the family’s pug in their Highton backyard on Friday.
Ms Hall, her husband and their three children returned home from dinner when they went outside to feed Ruby and their pug Chase.
The family called for Chase, who was waiting for them to return, but could not find Ruby.
Eventually they found her lying in the kennel with her head poking out and realised she had died.
“We called Geelong pet services and they told us to take her there straight away,” Ms Hall said.
The Halls — who had Ruby for close to 10 years — initially thought she had died of old age. With the vet unable to determine Ruby’s exact cause of death, the family decided to go home.
“When we got home Sienna, our oldest daughter, wanted to bring Chase inside to sleep with us,” Ms Hall said.
It was then Ms Hall noticed multiple piles of vomit in different places across the yard.
Concerned, Ms Hall went around the side of the house to see if there was any more signs of Ruby’s sickness and instead found a small tiger snake.
“We had never had this experience … we were quite shaken up to find the snake in the backyard,” Ms Hall said.
Ms Hall said the family confirmed their fears that Ruby had been killed by the snake bite after viewing CCTV footage of their yard.
She said the vision showed Ruby trying to save Chase, who was startled by the snake, before she was eventually bitten.
“About one hour and fifteen minutes after (the bite) she knew her time was up and went into her kennel,” she said.
“We have a manicured garden and fake grass — I would never have expected a snake to be in the yard.”
The family immediately called Geelong Snake Catcher Darren Keiller who arrived within 20 minutes to remove the snake.
Mr Keiller said he had been called to about 40 incidents where dogs had died after being bitten during his 20 years in the job.
“Usually it takes about half an hour for a snake bite to kill a dog. It doesn’t matter how much antivenene you give,” Mr Keiller said.
He said removing animal food and water could deter snakes from entering backyards.
Ms Hall hoped that sharing her family’s heartbreaking story would encourage other parents to educate their children about snakes and to remain vigilant in checking the yard.
“Ruby was absolutely gorgeous. She was very placid, very loving. Chase and her did everything together.”
“We had never had this experience … we were quite shaken up to find the snake in the backyard.” REBECCA HALL
SNAKE WARNING; Phoenix, 10, and Aston, 4, and Sienna, 11, with their pug puppy Chase mourn the loss of their other dog Ruby, who was bitten by a tiger snake.