(WFLA/NBC) - A Florida dog dubbed went into full "beast mode" last week, taking on a deadly enemy to protect his family.
Owner Sandy Ruggerio says the dog named "Beast" is everybody's baby, but this pup is no pushover.
The normally gentle giant had a rumble with a rattlesnake.
It happened on a walk with Ruggerio and Beast's smaller canine siblings near their home in North Port south of Tampa.
Ruggerio heard the terrifying rattle, but never saw the snake until "Beast" boldly stepped in.
The rattlesnake bit him, and "Beast" bit back, killing the snake. But by then, dog was already bleeding profusely.
Ruggerio rushed him to the veterinarian, and "Beast" received anti-venom just in time to save his life.
"He's by my side 24/7. He doesn't leave me … he doesn't go anywhere without me. He has to be there," said Ruggerio.
"Beast" is still under a veterinarian's care because of low blood cell count.
Courtesy WFLA via NBC News Channel