A German shepherd was badly hurt while confronting a group of burglars who broke into a Des Moines, Washington home.
KIRO reports the two intruders broke in while a 16-year-old boy was home alone with his dog, Rex.
Javier Mercado hid in an upstairs closet and held close to his pet, but Rex stormed downstairs to defend his home.
“As soon as he heard the window shatter, he ran downstairs full charge,” Mercado told KOMO. “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!’”
The intruders beat the dog bloody before he retreated back upstairs.
The burglars made their way through the house, ransacking each room. By the time they found Mercado, he was on the phone with 911.
“Rex came out with the little strength he had left in him and threw himself at them,” family members wrote on a GoFundMe page.
The dog was shot multiple times while protecting the boy. It was the sound of sirens that finally scared the burglars away.
“I think if it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be standing here today,” Mercado said.
Rex was rushed to the veterinarian, where he was placed in the intensive care unit, receiving pain medication, antibiotics and wound care. He made it through the night and is now reportedly in stable condition.
Family members have labeled Rex “The Hero Dog.”
“Today we witnessed the most beautiful and unconditional love. Rex the héroe dog, a member of our family, risked his life and took three gunshots as he protected his human best friend, his master, his brother while their house got vandalized with them inside,” they wrote on a GoFundMe page raising money for Rex's care. “Please, our family can not let Rex the hero dog go without us fighting as hard as he did, to his very last bit of a strength while protecting my nephew. Thank you for your help.”
They have raised more than $53,000, far surpassing their $10,000 goal.