Haus paid his owners back for adopting him from a shelter by stepping in when their daughter was threatened by a snake this week, the Associated Press reports.
When a venomous Eastern diamondback rattlesnake appeared in the DeLuca family’s Tampa backyard where 7-year-old Molly was playing, the heroic dog stood his ground, even after the snake bit his leg three times.
Haus, whose kidneys were damaged by the bites, is currently recovering in the Intensive Care Unit of Tampa’s Pearl Emergency Veterinary and Specialty Hospital. He is being treated with anti-venom and painkillers, Dr. John Gicking told the AP.
“Without the pain medication, he’s in pain,” Gicking said. “He’s responsive, he’s alert and his leg is swollen and uncomfortable.”
A GoFundMe page set up to defray Haus’ hospital costs has raised over $51,000 – well over the $28,000 goal – since Wednesday. The family has pledged to donate all the extra money to local rescue organization Heidi’s Legacy Rescue and other charities.
Molly’s father Adam told the AP Haus has “exceeded [the family’s] expectations all the way around” since they adopted him two months ago.
“Right away, the kids were hugging and loving on him, he always took it, he never did anything. Whenever anyone came to the door, he would start barking and try to be protective,” DeLuca said. “He has just been an amazing dog. He’s the type of dog that when you want to go buy a dog, you pay thousands of dollars and that’s the dog you get. But we adopted him and got him for free.”