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One Florida family mourns the loss of their dog Zeus, who proved he was loyal until the very end after he laid down his life for two of the family’s four kids by protecting them against a poisonous snake.

The family’s mother, Gina Richardson, said to CNN that her 10-year-old son, Oriley, was playing in the family’s backyard in Webster, Florida, when the 9-month-old Zeus, a pit bull, suddenly ran in the boy’s direction and pounced on something in the grass. Oriely noticed that Zeus was attacking something in the grass, but the young boy assumed he was playing with a rope and didn’t give it a second thought.

However, he was completely unaware that the “rope” he thought Zeus was playing with, was actually a coral snake – a very venomous type of snake. Sensing the threat to the young boy, Zeus fought off the danger. When 11-year-old Orion went into the backyard to change Zeus’s water, he was also unaware that he was stepping into danger. However, Zeus fought hard to protect the two boys from danger and actually used his body to shield them by literally laying down and crushing the snake.

Gina explained that it was Orion who first noticed something wrong when Zeus’s eyes were “bugged out.” After rolling the dog over to his side, they discovered a gruesome sight. During the fight, Zeus had managed to bite the snake’s head off and swallow it, but not before he suffered four bites from the venomous reptile. The family immediately rushed Zeus to the vet for anti-venom.

Lost without him. It hurts so bad.

Posted by Georgina Richardson on Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Unfortunately, the next day, Zeus passed away – paying the ultimate price in order to save his family members.

Posted by Georgina Richardson on Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Gina said, “I just started bawling. My kids woke up and heard me crying and then they too started crying. We were all an emotional wreck.”

The whole family went to the vet’s office to say goodbye, including Zeus’s mother, Sega.

Gina added, “Sega goes over to Zeus’s head and puts her paws up on the table and takes a sniff.”

Posted by Georgina Richardson on Tuesday, September 24, 2019

“Her ears came back, she got down, she instantly jumped on the sofa next to me and put her head on my thigh in sorrow. At that moment not only was my family broken, but his own mother was broken.” Gina added, according to CNN.

Gina was very grateful to Zeus and said, “I feel like I may have lost one of my children had he not been there.”

Gina said she would always be “forever grateful” to Zeus for giving his life to save her sons, Orion and Oriely.

My poor girls Athena, my pup, and Eve, my daughter Auroras pup, have been so clingy since losing Zeus. They really miss their brother. #twinsies #mouring #siblinglove

Posted by Georgina Richardson on Friday, September 27, 2019

Oriley shared his sadness and said, “He was a good boy and I loved him with all my heart. I played with him all the time. I feel sad and I miss him.”

Gary Richardson, the father of the boys, said he hoped that Zeus’s actions would help dispel all the negativity and bad attitudes surrounding pit bulls as pets.

Gary shared, “He was my best friend. I’m torn between wanting to be happy that this situation has brought awareness to his breed and their kind and loving nature, and the sorrow of having lost him.”

According to the New York Post, Gina said, “If you find [a pit bull] that’s aggressive, most likely, it’s because they weren’t treated right.”

Sitting here dying emotionally. Zeus protected our kid from a coral snake. He is in critical condition. For those of you…

Posted by Georgina Richardson on Monday, September 23, 2019