Thousands Raised for 'Hero' Dog Who Saved Owner From Rattlesnake Bite

Thousands of dollars have been raised for a "hero" dog that was bitten by a rattlesnake after intervening to save his owner from being attacked by the venomous creature.

Alex Loredo, 18, from Harbison Canyon, California, told 10 News on Saturday that on Thursday, May 27, he heard "a big rattle" when he walked out of his house towards his clothes dryer on the other side of the residence.

He said that he looked down and saw a foot-and-a-half-long rattlesnake underneath a table just a foot away from him.

Loredo said that before he was even able to react to the animal, his dog Marley, a Labrador, ran between him and the snake, explaining that his pet "basically pushed me out of the way. He barks a few times at the snake."

He said that after Marley intervened, the snake lunged "at him and bites him right on the tongue. It lunged again and bit him on the lip."

Loredo told News4SA that after the snake slithered away, he was able to carry Marley inside, but confirmed that he just "freaked out the entire time. It just happened so fast."

The 18-year-old rushed to the local vet with his mother, where Marley received 4 doses of antivenom. Loredo said that initially he "thought he wasn't going to make it," but confirmed that the dog turned the corner and started to get better just 2 days later.

Loredo said that he is "extremely grateful that he did make it," and paid tribute to his dog saying that "if it wasn't for Marley, I would have been bitten, and would have been really bad. Marley is a hero. He's my best friend I don't know what I would do without him."

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Loredo to help pay for Marley's veterinary expenses, which has already raised $8,365 of the $8,000 goal after being created on June 2.

In the description of the fundraising page, Loredo confirmed that the veterinary clinic had estimated that Marley's treatment would cost around $9,000, and wrote: "Thanks to all of you Marley and I will have the opportunity to make new memories and cherish every one of them."

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife's (CDFW) website states that rattlesnakes "are widespread in California and are found in a variety of habitat throughout the state from coastal to desert," and confirms that they are often found around residential areas.

Although rattlesnake bites can be deadly, the department writes that the chances of being bitten "are small compared to the risk of other environmental injuries," and explains that "most bites occur when a rattlesnake is handled or accidentally touched by someone walking or climbing."

Newsweek has contacted the CDFW for comment on the incident.

Rattlesnake bites dog in California
A prairie rattlesnake coils into striking position, flicking its forked tongue in and out on a sunny, dry hillside near Livingston, Montana on July 24, 2016. Thousands of dollars have been raised for a “hero” dog that was bitten by a rattlesnake after intervening to save his owner from being attacked by the venomous snake. iStock / Getty Images Plus/HRossD