Pit Bull Protecting Florida Children from Snake Dies after being Bitten Four Times: 'I Owe my Son's Life to Him'

A dog bitten four times while protecting children from a snake has died from its injuries.

Pit bull Zeus was fending off a coral snake near the Richardson family's two children in Sumter County, Florida, Fox 35 Orlando has reported, adding that the dog was eight months old when he passed.

The dog was reportedly bitten four times on Monday, when he stepped between the coral snake and the children, who were cleaning the dog's water bowl.

Zeus died the following day after being taken to a vet in Ocala, Florida.

Gary Richardson told Fox 35 Orlando: "I knew when he first came in that something was wrong and (it) was very traumatic because I knew he was dying."

He later told the news outlet that pitbulls were "the most loyal dog I know of", adding that he owed his son's life to Zeus.

The dog's death came in the same week it was reported that more than 100 dog carcasses were found at a property in Benton County, Missouri.

Benton County Sheriff Eric Knox attended the residence of Tiffany Woodington, 49, who ran an animal rescue non-profit named All Accounted For with partner Steven.

At the scene, Knox found "approximately 120 dogs and one cat", all deceased, as well as several dozen living but malnourished animals, according to a statement the Benton County, Missouri Sheriff's Office posted to Facebook on Monday.

"Tiffany was cooperative and led authorities to an old school bus, a barn and a house where 38 dogs and one cat were discovered alive but in unimaginable condition," Knox said. "It was discovered that approximately 120 dogs and one cat had perished. The animals were in various stages of decay, some were just bones."

The Benton County Sheriff added that the living animals were taken for treatment by the Missouri Humane Society Task Force while animal remains were collected for examination.

Tiffany and Steven Woodington are now facing charges, according to Associated Press. Tiffany faces felony and misdemeanour animal abuse charges. Her 55-year-old partner was arrested in Texas earlier this month and charged with animal cruelty.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Sheriff Knox said: "It really surprises me that no one in the community said, 'You better check that lady out'."