Nearly 4-foot-long copperhead thwarted by black lab, dad

Posted at 10:37 AM, Jun 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-05 10:38:09-04

A West Point family is hailing their black lab as a hero this week after the dog alerted them to a copperhead snake stretching almost four feet long in their garage.

Draper Carlton told WTVR that Bailey, had alerted the family that something seriously wrong was going on in the garage.

“He was barking and growling like I’ve never seen him do before,” said Abbi Carlton.

The snake was cornering Draper and Abbi’s four-year-old daughter Lainee, causing Draper to jump into action.

Draper told WTVR that he jumped onto a table between him and the snake and his daughter. It collapsed under him, but he was able to grab his daughter and set her atop a stack of boxed sinks ready for the new house they’re getting ready to build.

“My adrenaline was pumping,” he said. The snake was definitely in striking position, looking very dangerous, he said. “Like a loaded gun.”

Abbi brought him a hoe, and after a stare-down with the snake, he saw an opening and struck before the coiled snake could.

Draper Carlton put the snake in the freezer so it could be stuffed later. It was still a little frozen when we visited, but once it thawed out, WTVR checked it for length: 44 inches.

So Bailey the black lab is a big hero. “He’s get some extra treats,” Abbi Carlton said.

And Abbi said her husband his pretty special, too. “Today is our eighth wedding anniversary,” she added.

The Carltons are very happy no one got bit. Lainee and her little brother had been playing in the garage, and Draper Calton had been cleaning and organizing his workbenches. He’s thinking the copperhead had been within striking distance for hours.