By: TARA ALATORRE –
PHOENIX – The Arizona Diamondbacks honored a local dog hero during a special Heroes Weekend pregame ceremony on July 8 for saving his owner, Paula Godwin, from a rattlesnake and taking a venomous bite to the face while hiking in Desert Hills.
The story made international headlines capturing the heart of the internet with pictures of Todd’s swollen muzzle going viral after Godwin posted about the event on Facebook.
The Police and Fire Pipe and Drum band performed, and the colors were posted by the Phoenix Fire Department on the baseball field during the special heroes ceremony where uniformed firefighters, EMTs and Todd the nation’s dog hero were all recognized by the Diamondbacks at the game.
The now infamous photos of Todd’s swollen muzzle have been circulating on social media pages from Japan to Mexico, and it all started on the morning of June 29 when Godwin was hiking with her dogs near 7th Street and Carefree Highway.
“I literally almost stepped on a mf rattlesnake,” Godwin said on her Facebook page. “But my hero of a puppy Todd saved me. He jumped right in front of my leg where I surely would have got bit.”
Godwin believes the snake was sleeping in the middle of the trail which is why it didn’t make any warning noises. It was well-camouflaged in the road, so she didn’t see the snake until it was too late.
But that’s when her 6-month-old dog Todd jumped in front of her leg taking a bite to the nose ultimately saving her life.
Godwin rushed Todd to Anthem Animal Hospital where they treated him for the venomous bite. Todd has made a full recovery.
“I believe animals can bring people around the world together,” Godwin said. “That is just what Todd did.”
Godwin who is known as “positive Paula” amongst friends and family wanted to use her and Todd’s opportunity in the spotlight to help other animals in need. So, she set-up a Go Fund Me page in Todd’s honor with all the proceeds going to the local organization Anthem Pets.
“We were against the Go Fund Me in the beginning, but with such a great platform I felt like this was a good reason,” Godwin said. “I know a lot of people on the charity [Anthem Pets] and they do great work.”
The money raised will go towards helping other dog owners around the Valley pay for anti-venom treatment, and so far nearly $3,000 has been raised in Todd’s honor.
Godwin is not a beneficiary of the Go Fund Me.
If you would like to donate Go Fund Me campaign to help other dog owners that need assistance with treating their animals for venomous bites visit gofundme.com/rattlesnake-bites.