NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CBS Local) — A Tennessee woman said she is forever grateful for her pit bull after the dog intervened before a venomous snake could bite her outside her Nashville home on Monday.

Haley McCormack said it was dark when she got home from work and didn’t see the copperhead snake lurking in a leafy corner by the stairs leading to her door.

“It was recoiled back so it was going to strike,” McCormack told CBS affiliate WTVF.

That’s when McCormack’s pit bull, Arlo, sprung into action.

“He got there before I could go any further and he grabbed it by the tail, and then just started kind of shaking it,” she said. “While he was shaking it, it was biting his face. It got him three times for sure, possibly four.”

Arlo killed the snake, but he was seriously hurt and was rushed to a local pet hospital for treatment.

“His neck is super swollen,” McCormack said. “It made his eye almost completely swollen shut.”

Copperhead venom is rarely deadly to humans, but it can be fatal to small animals. Bites can be more dangerous if the venom reaches their facial area.

Arlo was given antivenom, pain medication and CBD oil and is expected to recover.

“To think how much loyalty and love he had for me, to risk his own life for mine, it’s really special,” McCormack said. “We’re both lucky to have each other for sure.”

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