8 On Your Side Warning: Dogs killed by rattlesnakes in Lakeland neighborood

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – Rattlesnakes have killed several dogs in a north Lakeland neighborhood.

Carol Miles will never forget the day her dog pounced on a rattlesnake in her yard and nearly died.

“We seen her pouncing on the snake. We did not believe she got bit at first because she was still attacking the snake. We threw the dogs in the house and when we went back and she was vomiting and bleeding. The snake was about four and a half feet long and had 10 rattles on its tail,” Miles said.

She rushed her dog, a 2-year old boxer, to the clinic.

“She was bleeding all over the back seat we were just afraid we weren’t going to make it. The most dangerous place to get bit is in the face and the neck, and she was bit in the neck and face,” Miles said. “Snake venom is almost impossible to get. When she was bit they had one bottle of snake venom. They told us it may not be enough because she is over 80 pounds.”

Denise Bliss wasn’t as lucky.  She lost two of her bulldogs on Labor Day after they were bit in her yard.

“We did a necropsy on both dogs. It was definitely a rattlesnake bite,” Bliss told 8 On Your Side.

Both incidents happened in the area of Cambry Lane in north Lakeland.  According to neighbors, five dogs have been bitten in the past several weeks. Four of them died, including one on Thursday.

Neighbors want other pet owners to be alert. “It’s darn hard, and I would never want to see it happen to anybody else,” Bliss said.

Neighbors think the snakes are coming from woods nearby owned by the state. 8 On Your side reached out to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which is in charge of maintaining them.

“There is a fire break in that area, but a firebreak doesn’t discourage wildlife from crossing onto your private properties. So it’s important for people who live next to conservation areas to keep their properties clear,” spokesperson Gary Morse said.

Morse said the area in question was inspected Friday. He told 8 On Your Side it was sprayed last week and will be mowed next week. He also suggests homeowners keep their grass is cut, and any food or trash cleaned up.

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