A family’s heroic Boxer is being hailed a hero after stepping between her family and a deadly rattlesnake during a Sunday walk.
Last weekend, 10-year old Cole Lewis, his mom, and their Boxer, Nala were taking a walk in their Lancaster, California neighborhood when Nala suddenly jumped in front of her family and stood her ground.
Nala had taken a rattlesnake bite to the face to protect her family from harm. “She waited until we were safe. She stood her ground. She didn’t like whimper or anything when she got bit,” Cole told ABC7.
Nala was bitten once on the nose while protecting her family. She was rushed to a nearby veterinary hospital and treated with antivenin for the Mojave Green Rattlesnake bite.
Most rattlesnake sightings occur in the spring and fall. The veterinary hospital that treated Nala say they get about 150 cases of rattlesnake bites every year, a statistic that, the family says, will prevent them from walking or biking in the desert landscape where she was bitten.
“I grew up with Boxers. They’re incredibly protective dogs. That’s why we got the breed. We got her from a rescue. We rescued her and she rescued us,”Cole’s step-dad Anthony Borquez said.
Nala is back at home and recovering with the family she saved.
While rattlesnakes are most common in the southwest, they can, and do, thrive in nearly all 50 states (Click here to see a list of rattlesnakes and other venomous snakes living in your state). And, while snakes don’t generally strike unless provoked, they pose a particular threat to curious pets. It is estimated that roughly 300,000 dogs and cats are bitten by venomous snakes every year. Many dogs are not as lucky as Nala.
Parents to pets living in an area common to venomous snakes, hunting dogs, search and rescue dogs, and those who spend a lot of time outdoors hiking or camping can benefit from a rattlesnake vaccine and taking measures to snake-proof their yards.