When Donya DeLuca rescued a German Shepherd from Heidi’s Legacy Dog Rescue in Tampa, Florida, she had no idea he would soon become her family’s hero. DeLuca told Today, they had recently lost their family dog of 13 years. Despite her husband’s reservations, she said she “just couldn’t pass up the chance to rescue him.”
The 2-year-old German shepherd, which they named Haus, quickly bonded with Donya, her husband, Adam, and their two young children. Donya described the relationship between the German Shepherd and his new family as “meant to be.”
“He just bonded with all of us so quickly, it was like he was always part of our home. Even the neighbors took to him. It was meant to be. Especially at night, he’s very protective of the kids. He follows them around, he take[s] cares of them.”
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) May 15, 2016
As the Inquisitr reported, just two months after being adopted, Haus proved his love for the DeLuca family. Last week, 7-year-old Molly was playing in the backyard of their Tampa, Florida, home when a deadly rattlesnake found its way into the yard. Haus recognized the threat before Molly or her grandmother even knew what was happening. Following his protective instinct, the brave German Shepherd positioned himself between the dangerous rattler and Molly and her grandmother.
Donya explained to Today that the pair didn’t understand what Haus was doing until they realized he was badly bleeding. The German Shepherd had suffered three deep bites from what is believed to have been an Eastern diamondback rattlesnake, which is one of the most deadly poisonous snakes on the continent. The hero dog was willing to give his own life to save little Molly and her grandma from the rattlesnake.
“He instantly positioned himself between the snake and Molly, so at first, her and her grandma didn’t even realize what he was staring at — but then all of a sudden there was all of this blood.”
Haus amazingly survived the potentially lethal bites. He was admitted to a veterinary ICU and placed on a constant drip of anti-venom. This round-the-clock treatment is not the norm, but the German Shepherd received so much venom from the snake that his doctors felt this was the best course of action. They are amazed by his progress and expect him to make a full recovery.
Of course, Haus’s treatment is very expensive. By the first day, the dog’s bill had already reached $10,000. A family friend set up a GofundMe account to help the DeLuca’s raise money for their dog’s life-saving care. Their goal was $28,000, which was quickly surpassed and reached a total of $52,594.
The family is extremely thankful for the overwhelming support. The fundraiser has since been shut down because they have been assured that they have enough to cover Haus’s expenses. Those who still want help have been asked to donate directly to Heidi’s Legacy Dog Rescue in Haus’s name. Any amount left over after the German Shepherd’s medical bills are paid will be donated to the rescue where Haus was adopted.
Donya DeLuca posted on her personal Facebook account encouraging people to also consider fostering or adopting rescue pets through Heidi’s Legacy Rescue. Whether you’re looking for a German Shepherd like Haus or small mixed breed, they have several dogs ready for loving homes.
The latest update on DeLuca’s Haus the Hero Dog Facebook page is very encouraging. She stated on May 17 that after all he’s been through, “Haus is great.” The beloved German Shepherd is quite a trooper and will hopefully head home with his family once his urine is clear of some remaining red blood cells.
Donya confirms, “Other than that he is good to go.”
[Image via Facebook]