HARRIMAN,Tenn. - Five little hound puppies are recovering after being bitten by a copperhead snake in East Tennessee.
The puppies were born at an animal shelter and had been staying at a foster home. They were on the porch of the home when they were bitten. "All of a sudden she heard this yelping and screaming and crying. She ran out and scooped them all up," said Darlene Bakos of Halo's Second Chance Animal Rescue in Roane County, Tennessee.
The puppies' caregiver, Rhonda Whalen, had to rush the puppies to the emergency vet after hours, where they were treated with antivenom serum, antibiotics, pain medicine and Benedryl, but the cost of caring for the puppies has skyrocketed to more than $8,000 and they have launched a GoFundMe to help raise money for the cost.
Two of the puppies were bitten in the face, and their injuries were the worst, Bakos said. "What we think happened is the snake got in there and they played with it," Bakos said.
The snake was never found, but all five puppies swelled up immediately. "Snake bites, especially rattlesnakes and copperheads," Bakos said, "the swelling is just staggering and it's just instant."
The vet told Bakos that the bites were very wide and that it had to be a large snake.
Because snake bites require immediate attention and because antivenom has a short shelf life and is very expensive, Bakos said they were lucky to find an after-hours facility that carried it.
The puppies are between seven and eight weeks old and they still have a long road to recovery ahead, though they are eating and playing now. Eventually, they'll be up for adoption, and the rescue says they also need to find a home for their mother, a brown hound named "Daisy."