2 dogs bit by copperhead; Owner kills snake to protect daughter

MAIDEN, N.C. — Kristel Wittensoldner considers her dogs, Holly and Laya, lucky to be alive.

“She was foaming. She was slobbering. She was swollen. She was bloody,” Wittensoldner told Channel 9.

Click here to learn more about copperhead snakes

A copperhead snake bit the two Weimaraners Tuesday in the family’s fenced-in backyard.

Wittensoldner knew how quickly she had to get them to a veterinarian.

“I’m sitting in the vet and I’m waiting for their medicine to take effect, and I’m thinking to myself, 'What if that would’ve been my daughter?'” she said.

The veterinarian told Wittensoldner the dogs were lucky to be bitten on the snout, because the venom didn’t penetrate as much tissue. Holly and Laya are expected to be OK.

As soon as she got home from the vet, Wittensoldner grabbed a shovel and went to the backyard.

“[The] snake was coiled and it was big and it was looking right at me. I knew I had one chance to strike it,” Wittensoldner said.

Channel 9 has reported several copperhead bites this summer. Last month, in a special report, an expert said there has been an unusually large increase in calls about snakes and that the wet spring may have driven snakes out sooner this year.

Wittensoldner isn't taking any more chances.

"Now I'm going to be on complete alert," she said.

Copperheads are the most common venomous snake in most parts of North Carolina.

Copperhead bites are serious, although not usually life-threatening for humans.

Snake stories from across the Carolinas: