Pup in Predicament Caught With Snake Coiled Around Snout in Viral Video

Snakes are sweeping California lands, and an astonishing video shows a dog's encounter with one in the backyard of a homeowner.

Bruce Ireland, a snake wrangler and small-town celebrity from the San Diego area, posted the video to his TikTok showing the incredible but appalling confrontation.

The video has picked up 2.9 million views, with over 234,000 likes as people were astounded by the pup's predicament.

The video shows the dog walking helplessly with the constrictor snake coiled around its snout.

Ireland told Newsweek that he walked into a scene in which the snake was in the lab's mouth, while the rest of its body was wrapped around the dog's face.

He doesn't think that either of animal was trying to kill the other but that they were keeping one another in place, for what he thought was about 30 minutes before he arrived.

"A dog when he's investigating uses his nose," Ireland said. "That's what he does, he puts his nose up to something that smells weird, looks weird, sounds weird.

"Whereas, cats, the first thing they do is swat and you know, jump back from it."

Ireland comes to the lab's rescue in the video, and can be heard saying, "Oh sweetie, you've got a bit of a problem," as he gently removes the snake and relieves the dog from his plight.

He directs the dog to treats while lifting the snake off the ground.

Ireland said he contemplated his options for a moment before acting, and decided that the treats were the best way to get the dog to drop the reptile.

One user expressed shock, saying, "it looked so crazy my brain thought the snake was fake. glad both animals are good."

According to the Animal Emergency Center (AEC), dogs and snakes don't usually fraternize harmoniously.

"Dogs tend to be fascinated by snakes because they really just look like a self-powered toy!" the AEC website says. "But an interaction between a snake and a dog usually ends badly, often for the snake - but in some situations, an encounter with a snake could end very badly for the dog."

In the video, Ireland can be heard saying, "poor guy, are you OK?" as he examines the snake and discovers a dog bite on the animal.

Snakes have a long-standing perception as vicious creatures while dogs are known to be "man's best friend," causing many commenters to lack empathy for the snake in the video.

Among the flood of comments, one user said, "oh, I didn't realize I was supposed to be worried about the snake. Here I was just worried about the dog."

Another user was quick to identify the reptile as a "gopher snake," which was confirmed by Ireland.

He was relieved that it "wasn't a rattlesnake," usually identifiable by their "big, thick heads."

Pup in a Predicament Caught With Snake
A viral TikTok video shows a dog walking helplessly with a snake coiled around its snout. Getty Images

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has listed rattlesnakes and copperheads as venomous, gopher snakes aren't.

Ireland said that snakes are either venomous, meaning they kill prey using venom, like a rattlesnake, or constrictors that squeeze their food to kill, like gopher snakes.

"Gopher snakes aren't a threat to dogs," Ireland reassures a commenter.

Many others shared their experiences of encounters their dogs had with snakes. In some cases, the reptile attacked the furry pets, while in others, the snakes were the victims.

Ireland said that while this particular call was unique, he has received calls to rescue dogs from snakes. In most cases, a dog that suffers a bite from a venomous snake recovers after immediate medical attention, but if the owners aren't home and the dog is left with an unattended venomous bite, it can affect the chances of recovery.

Upon an encounter with a non-venomous snake, the Humane Society of the United States recommends leaving it alone, and identifying it by species. However, if it is a venomous snake, it must be removed to prevent it from attacking other species.

Ireland operates in the North County area, where snakes are frequent visitors at people's homes, he said. Most people panic when they see a snake and call the fire department, which kill the reptile.

So in an effort to help his community, he has gathered a team of volunteers who answer calls and relieve people of their anxiety by relocating the snakes, free of charge.

Update 8/5/22, 2:49 p.m. ET: This story was updated with comment from Ireland and additional information.