TAMPA (FOX 13) - The dog who took three rattlesnake bites to protect his family's little girl is making a miraculous recovery. The update comes five days after Haus, a 2-year-old German shepherd, was outside playing with Molly DeLuca, his favorite 7-year-old, when he saw something she didn't: A rattlesnake was in the yard, just feet away from her.
The DeLuca family says he put himself between Molly and the snake, and it ended up biting him three times in his legs. His instinct to protect may have saved the little girl's life, but it meant his own life was on the line.
The family rushed him to the vet, where he was put on a constant drip of antivenin and given only a 50-percent shot at survival.
Things remained touch-and-go for days, but hope came Sunday, when Haus started showing signs of recovery.
The DeLucas say he ate and drank on his own, went for a short walk, and was even taken off the antivenin for the first time since he'd arrived last week.
Monday morning, Haus was still in the intensive care unit at Blue Pearl, but doctors had encouraging news. They said if he continues his progress, he'll be transitioned to regular care and eventually cleared to go home.
In the meantime, his owner, Donya DeLuca, says they have been able to afford Haus's continued care -- all thanks to donations from thousands of people who were touched by his bravery.
A GoFundMe account shared along with the family's viral story last week received more than $52,000 in just four days.
DeLuca said the family was overwhelmed with gratitude. She has since shut down the account, and said they plan to donate any leftover money to the animal rescue that gave them Haus.
Until then, they'll be by their dog's side rooting for his continued recovery.