Dog attacked by rattlesnake in park

July 17, 2008 6:40:21 AM PDT
There's a rattlesnake on the loose in the Bronx. Where it came from is still unclear but Miguel Mota of Pelham Parkway knows it's out there because it bit his dog.

Mota's beloved dog Stone should make a complete recovery. The 4-year-old pit bull remains sedated and carefully monitored by the doctors and nurses at the NYC Veterinary Specialists in midtown.

Dr.s say the bite was most likely on one sides of Stone's body because that's where most of the swelling is.

Around 4 p.m. On Tuesday afternoon, Mota brought Stone for a routine walk in a wooded area near the Bronx Zoo when the 31-year-old security guard heard his dog yelp and he knew something was wrong.

"And I'm like, come over here. So when I came I saw a little drop of blood coming out. And when I touch it, he cried again and my dog never cries," said Mota.

He then moved in to see what bit Stone and that's when he saw a snake slithering away. A quick look back at Stone revealed the snake was certainly venomous, a rattler.

Mota adds, "And that's when his body started changing. He started drooling and getting slower. And I'm like, what's going on? That's how I knew, a venomous snake."

In a mad dash for anti-venom, Mota struck out. First at two nearby veterinarians, then a hospital and then the Bronx Zoo. He finally landed at the NYC Veterinary Specialists where doctors quickly administered two doses and saved Stone's life.

"The more time the venom has to be in the body, the more damage it's going to do. So the anti-venom is there to neutralize the snake's venom in the bloodstream and reduce its effects on the body," said Dr. Benjamin Davidson.

Stone is resting comfortably as authorities continue to look for the snake.

The NYC Veterinary Specialists had the hard to find anti-venom in part because of its relationship with centers in Florida, where rattlesnakes are much more common.

The doctors and a charitable fund will pick up the tab for the anti-venom, which costs about $1,000 per dose.

STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Joe Torres