A heroic German Shepherd was shot multiple times and badly beaten while protecting his 16-year-old human, Javier Mercado, from two men who broke into their home in Des Moines, Washington.
Javier hid upstairs with Rex in a closet after he heard noises and glass shattering downstairs.
“As soon as he heard the window shatter, he ran downstairs full charge,” Mercado told KOMO 4. “And then I just heard a bunch of barking and struggling, and then one of the guys screaming, The dog! The dog bit me! Get the dog!’”
Javier’s aunt, Susy Cadena, said initially Javier called 911 and tried to hide in the closest with Rex, but the dog wanted to protect him and rushed downstairs to where the intruders were.
“Both of the burglars struggled and beat him up with whatever they could. Rex stormed back to the upstairs floor all beat up and bloody from the beating to check on his master who was still hiding in the closet,” she wrote on GoFundMe.
“As they entered the room where my nephew was hiding in the closet, Rex came out with the little strength he had left in him and threw himself at them as he knew my nephew was in danger. Sadly they shot Rex 4 times and finally Rex, the hero dog gave up in his battle.”
“It was the sirens who scared them away,” she continued. “My nephew was protected by his eternal friend until the last bit of strength he had in him to do what his unconditional, loving instinct told him to.”
Police later confirmed with a news station that they found Javier in the closet and Rex badly bleeding when they arrived.
“A 16-year-old boy who was home alone said he believed someone was breaking in,” Des Moines police Commander Doug Jenkins told Q13 Fox. “The dog in the residence was barking. Then [Javier] heard breaking glass and the dog still barking. Then he heard gunshots and the dog was no longer barking.”
So far the suspects are at large. Rex was rushed to BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Renton, Washington, and has miraculously pulled through his ordeal.
The family set up a GoFundMe page to cover the heroic dog’s $10,000 medical expenses. So far $36,000 has been raised thanks to dog lovers.
Mercado said he owes Rex his life: “I think if it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be standing here today.”