Reporting Laura Cole
GRANITE BAY (CBS13) – Spring means rattlesnake season, and this year it’s been an especially busy one for veterinarians in Placer County.
A family in Granite Bay is grieving after a rattlesnake bit 6-year-old Cuddles in their backyard. Within hours, their dog was dead.
“So I lost her too quick, too soon, and I’m heartbroken, absolutely heartbroken,” Sharon said of her beloved poodle.
“It’s a devastating thing because you just don’t know, you don’t expect it,” her husband Jack said.
The Placer SPCA has issued a warning after learning of rattlesnake bites killing two dogs within days of each other.
“In the 10 years that I’ve been here I haven’t seen a dog brought to us bit by a rattlesnake (until now),” the SPCA’s Leilani Fratis said.
And the SPCA talked with veterinarians who’ve seen an uptick in dogs coming in with bites.
“In fact (one vet) said there was concern of a shortage of the anti-venom to treat these dogs because there had been so many cases in the last weeks,” Fratis said.
Snake experts say heavy brush from previous years’ rainfall and empty, foreclosed homes create perfect breeding grounds and hiding places.
Jack and Sharon know their property may be prone to the reptile, but they do what they can to protect their pets, including lining their yard with snake-proof fencing.
“It tells you that no matter what you do, enough is not enough,” Jack said. “Now you have to worry about where my kid’s playing.”
And so they’re not letting 4-year-old Danny out of their sight as he makes his way around the backyard playground without his friend Cuddles by his side.
“She’s dearly missed and to have it happen that fast, I still don’t have a grip on it,” Sharon said.
Now some vets are recommending a new vaccine that’s designed to help minimize the effects of a rattlesnake bite and help a dog survive.