Venomous cobras are common in India, a country where snakes kill more than 45,000 people a year.

But when a group of the deadly snakes reached the home of Dibakar Raita in the small village of Sebekapur on July 11, man’s best friend was able to prevent a catastrophe.

Dibakar’s Doberman, purchased just a few months before, was guarding the perimeter of the property that night when he found a group of cobras outside the home.

The dog repeatedly bit and clawed at the snakes, even as they bit him with their poisonous venom. The Doberman killed each snake successively but, by the time he had staved off the attack, the damage had been done. The dog quickly died from the venom that had filled its body.

“I’m shocked. He has made the supreme sacrifice for me and my family.

I will remember him till our death. I pray God: May his soul rest in peace,” Dibakar told journalists after the incident. Dibakar’s grief was matched by hundred of Indians who live in the Gajapati District.

Bearing wreaths and flowers, a large crowd participated in a funeral procession and burial ceremony for the Doberman who had kept his family safe.