Phoenix man bit by rattlesnake while saving dog's life

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Michael Seaburgh was bit by a rattlesnake Monday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Michael Seaburgh was bit by a rattlesnake Monday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Michael Seaburgh was bit by a rattlesnake Monday (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Michael Seaburgh was bit by a rattlesnake Monday (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Max the Airedale terrier was saved by his owner Max the Airedale terrier was saved by his owner
Michael Seaburgh was bit by a rattlesnake Monday (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Michael Seaburgh was bit by a rattlesnake Monday (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Michael Seaburgh insists the pain from the rattlesnake bite on his hand is nothing compared to the distress he would have felt if something had happened to his dog, Max.

"I knew the snake was going to bite him, so I figured I didn't want the dog to get bitten," said Seaburgh.

The 62-year old Phoenix man was out cleaning his swimming pool Monday morning when he heard a rattlesnake behind some of the pool equipment.

Max had heard it too, but instead of running away, the Airedale terrier started snooping around.

That's when Seaburgh rushed over and put his hand in front of the dog's face, a split second before the snake lunged out.

"The snake was underneath so he didn't have much wiggle room to actually strike, but the dog's snout was right there," said Seaburgh. "My hand was right there and the snake's head was 2 inches from my hand and he got me."

Seaburgh doesn't consider himself a hero; he said he was just doing what any dog lover would do to protect their pooch.

Dr. Frank Lovecchio with the Banner Poison Control Center said they've had 39 rattlesnake bites so far this year, and they're expecting more with all the extreme heat we're having.

"Right now snakes are out," said Lovecchio. "If you are hiking, out and about, please realize that this is the season for snakes to be out as the temperature rises, and as the humidity rises we will see more and more snakes."

"If the snake had bitten the dog in the snout, it probably would have killed him," said Seaburgh.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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