A walk in the park turned into a pet owner's nightmare for a Meriden woman this week.
On Memorial Day, Wendy Nordgren was walking through Guiffrida Park with her five year-old poodle, terrier mix Buster.
The tragedy began when Buster suddenly yelped in pain.
Nordgren spoke with Channel 3's Patricia Del Rio.
"All of a sudden I heard a yelp so I yanked him back and there was a kind of snake curled up underneath him.
Buster had been bitten by a poisonous copperhead snake. After snapping a picture of the snake, she continued walking the dog.
"We walked with him for five minutes. His back was hunched up, his leg was swelling and every movement he made he was yelping," said Nordgren.
She then rushed Buster to a nearby veterinarian, but it was too late. The poison had overtaken the small dog.
Nordgren said although she's heartbroken, she hopes raise awareness of the threat of snakes by putting up signs in local parks.
"I'd like to see the dangers out there made public. They do it for the ticks, the mosquitoes, the bears. If something could kill you within three hours, I think that's really important to put up," said Nordgren.
Animal expert Nick Barnett said copperheads and rattlesnakes are common in the state.
He explained that for humans, the snakes are rarely deadly unless they do not seek immediate treatment.
"Obviously, there is a threat it can be potentially lethal to people...it's when you get bitten and walk five miles down the trail and don't address it, it can agitate it and make it more serious," said Barnett.
If a walker spots a copperhead, Barnett suggests the person should not try to kill it but rather stop and allow it to slither away.
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