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Owner issues warning after dog bitten by cotton-mouth snake at Bradfordville Dog Park

Posted at 5:29 PM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 17:42:09-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — One dog owner is issuing a warning after her dog was bitten by a cotton-mouth snake at Bradfordville Dog Park.

"It's a great park," said Lizzie Ruse. "Fabulous Community."

The Bradfordville Dog Park is known for wide-open spaces, ponds, and now cotton-mouth snakes.

On May 24, Ruse and her five dogs were out for one of their daily walks at the park when her dog Duncan found a cotton-mouth along the water's edge.

"He grabbed it and threw it and as it flew by it grabbed its leg," said Ruse.

The veterinary bill setting Ruse back $6,000.

Not wanting this to happen to another dog owner, Ruse began putting up warning signs that were later taken down by the county.

The County said they understand what happened, but can't let public signs stay up in County-owned spaces. Instead, they put up two extra warning signs because of the incident

"We really ask people to be vigilant when visiting the dog park or around any water ways," said Amanda Heidecker, with Leon County Parks and Recreation. "In the state of Florida, there's alligators and cotton-mouth, water mouth moccasins constantly."

Dog owner Cameron Allen says he's aware of the situation, but that the threat of snakes is just something owners have to be mindful of when living in Florida.

"Not out of the normal for here, so it doesn't deter me from being out, just makes me want to be a little more cautious whenever he's around the water," Allen said.

Local snake experts say cotton-mouth snakes aren't aggressive, and only attack when they feel threatened.