A Charlotte County family is mourning the loss of their Yorkie Jack after he was bit by a rattlesnake.
The 6-pound dog stepped outside and right into the path of a large rattlesnake.
His owners believe Jack gave his life for them and they marked his loss with a cross.
“This has been probably a Holy Week that we’ll never forget,” said Corrye Hatchell.
It happened on Monday. Hatchell had her neighbors over and she wanted to show them her pineapple growing in the backyard.
Right before she stepped out of her lanai, her dogs Jack and Jill rushed through the puppy door.
“I heard Jack yelp so I knew that he had been bitten and I opened the door just enough to see what it was,” Hatchell said. “It was the biggest rattlesnake I’ve ever seen.”
A 4.5 foot long diamondback rattlesnake was waiting right where Hatchell would have stepped.
Jack was bit on his left frontleg. Jill tried to help.
“Jill was out there trying to fight the snake and I was like trying to get by voice commands to keep her away,” Hatchell said.
Hatchell managed to get both of her Yorkies inside.
Her husband grabbed a rake.
“My only thought was to get rid of him,” said Major Hatchell.
The couple rushed Jack to the vet but didn’t make it in time.
“The first night and the second night (Jill) did fine; the third night she cried and cried and cried,” Hatchell said.
They buried Jack in the backyard and placed a cross in his memory.
“I realized that Jack going through that door, kept me from stepping out. And had I stepped out, I would have been bitten, and I’m sure I would have died because of the size of the snake. And I realized that Jack had given his life for me,” Hatchell said.
The family plans to get a new puppy to keep Jill company. They’ve also taken measures to rid their yard of anymore snakes.