This town is rallying to support this brave dog that put its life on the line to save its owner

May 1, 2024

There are many great stories about brave animals, who rallied to save their humans.

But sometimes, they jump to our defense so quickly and selflessly, they inspire everyone.

And this dog chose to put itself directly in harm’s way to defend its owner against a deadly attack and has become a town hero.

“I heard the rattle, turned around and instantly yanked him . . .”

Rizzo Welch is a lab mix from Colorado Springs and he enjoys going on hikes with his owner Carissa Welch.

Last week, the pair were out on the trails when they encountered a dangerous situation.

Carissa says that she was walking along when she heard the rattle.

A venomous rattlesnake had come into the path and was preparing to strike Welch.

That’s when Rizzo leapt into action.

Rizzo put himself between the rattlesnake and his owner and was prepared to defend her no matter what the consequences.

Then it happened. The snake launched itself at Rizzo and bit him in the face.

“I heard the rattle, turned around and I instantly yanked him,” she told local news outlet KRDO.

Welch rushed Rizzo to the veterinarian where he was kept for a day and a half, in the emergency room.

Rizzo received lifesaving antivenom treatment and survived.

Now he’s being called a hero.

Treatment for Rizzo quickly turned into thousands of dollars

“I wasn’t wearing my boots. Those were my trail running shoes—if he had not taken the bite, I feel like it would have been me,” Welch said in the interview following the attack.

Now Rizzo is being celebrated in Colorado Springs as a hero.

And people from all over are chipping in to help Welch with the medical bills.

Rizzo’s treatment cost Welch over $3,000 but she says that there’s no amount that she wouldn’t be willing to pay.

“I’m grateful and blessed to have him. . .[and] there’s no amount of money I would not pay to save his life,” Welch said.

Now Joshua Randall, Welch’s brother-in-law, has started a GoFundMe campaign where he’s asking the community to help cover the “substantial” cost of the treatment.

“His bravery and loyalty deserve recognition, and your contribution will ensure he receives the care he needs to heal and thrive once again,” Randall wrote.

Experts say that if Welch hadn’t responded quickly—it could have been fatal.

Quickly get your pet to the vet in the case of a snake bit

When a person or a pet is bitten by a rattlesnake, life-threatening symptoms can develop if it’s not treated immediately.

According to the University of California Davis, victims have minutes to respond before “excessive bleeding, nausea, and swelling in the mouth and throat” begins.

Regardless of whether the pet is showing pain, dog owners should contact their local veterinarian immediately and ask about antivenom.

The American Kennel Club says that the antivenom treatment must be received within “hours” and the dog should be monitored following the treatment.

Dogs can also be treated for pain using opioids and NSAIDs.

Though snake bites rarely end in death, “bites from any venomous snake warrant a trip to the emergency vet.”

Read All About It will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.

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