Rutland woman warning other hikers about timber rattlesnakes

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 11:49 PM EDT
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HULETTS LANDING, N.Y. (WCAX) - A dog saved its owner from a venomous timber rattlesnake that approached them on a hiking trail. Tragically, the dog did not survive.

Every peak Casiana Arroyo has hiked her dog Ramsey has trotted up, too.

“We were training for the Long Trail and planning on doing a section hike this fall, but that’s not going to happen now,” Arroyo said.

Earlier this month Ramsey was bitten by a timber rattlesnake on Black Mountain in New York, trying to protect Arroyo.

“I heard the noise and I thought it was a bug by my ear, so I swatted and I looked down at the trail,” Arroyo said. “It was coming right at me and my dog Ramsey jumped in the middle.”

Per the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, the venomous snake is a threatened species, with about 7,000 to 8,000 in the state. Following the attack, Arroyo contacted officials about putting up warning signs near dens.

“Their response was that they don’t mark it for safety of the snake, so whether people are trying to see them or take pictures of them, there should at least be markings at the beginning of the trail,” Arroyo said.

The DEC also tells me in a statement that rattlesnake bites are very rare, but they can happen in the wild. Officials say the snakes aren’t usually confrontational unless they feel threatened. If it does happen, call 911.

By sharing her story, Arroyo hopes officials in New York and Vermont will make greater outreach efforts, so others won’t have to share her pain.

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