Dog bit by rattlesnake saved by La Verne police officer

- When Officer Chris Dransfeldt started his shift on April 4, 2016 little did he know he'd be an ambulance driver for someone's family pet that day. At about 4:20 pm, La Verne dispatch received a call from a frantic 17-year-old girl who was home with the family pet, an 11-year-old Chocolate Lab named Bailey.

The young girl told dispatch that Bailey had just been bit in the face by a rattlesnake while playing in the back yard. Officers Chris Dransfeldt and Greg Rodriguez responded to the residence in North La Verne near the Foothills where rattlesnake sightings are common.

On arrival, Officer Dransfeldt noticed that Bailey had been bit near one eye and was starting to have a reaction as his face was beginning to swell up. The young girl told Officer Dransfeldt that the dog was like another child to her parents and the family would be devastated if Bailey were to die.

After seeing that the young girl did not have a mode of transportation, told her to call her mother who was at work. Once on the phone, Officer Dransfeldt explained the circumstances and asked what she wanted to do with the dog. The mother explained that she was at work and could not leave and if she were to leave, by the time she got there it might be too late.

Officer Dransfeldt, who is himself a dog lover and seeing what the dog meant to the family, took it upon himself to take the dog to the nearest veterinary hospital in La Verne. When he arrived he was told that they did not have any anti venom and the only animal hospital that carried it was located in Upland.

Officer Dransfeldt put Bailey in the back seat of his cruiser, where he lay whimpering from the pain of the bite, and quickly, but carefully drove to VCA Animal Hospital in Upland. The veterinarians quickly began administering anti venom along with fluids in order to save Bailey's life. Bailey spent the night at the hospital and, we are happy to report, he was released this morning and is back home recuperating with his family and will be fine.

From Christine O'Donnell:

"I looked out and she was standing within a few inches from a rattlesnake," daughter Jacquelyn Munet said. Munet, 17, was home alone and without a car as she tried to coax Bailey back inside with her favorite treat, bread.

"She was debating between the bread and the snake, and she decided to go sniff the snake. she was within a 10 inches or so from it and it just struck her, right in between the eyes," Munet said.

Knowing rattlesnake bites are deadly, she called 911, then her parents.

"I went into immediate panic," Mom Sylvia Hernandez said about received the call.  "Working over an hour away commute with traffic.  I was panicking to figure out how I could get there," Hernandez said.

"Bailey is one of our family members. We've had her for 11 years and she's always been treated like a sibling. lt was really scary to see her in that situation, to see her in pain," Munet said.

Dransfeldt didn't hesitate.  He got approval from mom and put Bailey in his car.

"She was making noises and I could tell she was in pain. She was panting for air," Dransfeldt said.

He brought her  to two vet clinics until he found one that had the right anti-venom to treat the dog.

"I didn't really event think about it. We just had to get her to the nearest Doctor. The only way to do that was for me to drive the dog.  I would expect someone to do that for my animal if it was the same situation," Dransfeldt said regarding.  He owns a dog and a cat.

Hernandez says living near the base of the foothills means rattlesnakes are always a threat this time of year.  She makes sure both their dogs get the yearly vaccine against rattlesnake bites, and says that also might have helped slow the process.

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