DELTONA, Fla. - Members of the Quiles family said they've lived in their Deltona home for five years and have encountered rat snakes and garden snakes but never coral snakes -- until now.
A 2 1/2-foot coral snake slithered into the family's yard Sunday morning.
Eliud Quiles said he heard barking, went outside and saw the snake within inches of his foot.
"My first reaction was 'Jump. Get away from it,'" he said.
Cachi, the family's 2 1/2-year old Chihuahua, attacked the reptile.
"She was the bravest of six that we had," Quiles said.
Quiles looked at the dogs, which he said appeared to be fine, until about 20 minutes later.
"Cachi was all shaking and vomiting," Quiles said.
The family rushed Cachi to the nearest veterinarian who said Ocala was the closest place to get a $5,000 anti-venom medication.
"She's not going to make it over there," Quiles said.
Quiles brought the dog home, where she died 45 minutes later.
"We woke up today like something's out of place. We don't have our Cachi anymore," said Quiles.
Now, the family wants others to be aware of what's lurking in the yard, and is thankful Cachi was there to protect them.
"It could have been one of the kids or it could have been one of us -- the adults, my wife, me or my oldest son. But she killed him. I could say that," Quiles said.
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