PetHero > PETHEROES

‘Hero’ German Shepherd Beaten and Shot Multiple Times Saving His 16-Year-Old Owner from Burglars

A German Shepherd was shot multiple times and badly beaten as it did all it could to protect its 16-year-old owner from two men who broke into their home in Des Moines, Washington.

The 2½-year-old dog, Rex, was shot through the neck and legs trying to protect his owner, Javier, who hid in an upstairs closet after he heard noises and glass shattering downstairs, according to a GoFundMe page for the dog.

Javier’s aunt, Susy Cadena, said initially Javier called 911 and tried to hide in the closest with his beloved dog but Rex was determined 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.

“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 confirmed to Q13 Fox that they found Javier in the closet and Rex badly injured upon arriving at the home.

• For more compelling true crime coverage, follow our Crime magazine on Flipboard.

“A 16-year-old boy who was home alone said he believed someone was breaking in,” Des Moines police Commander Doug Jenkins toldQ13 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.”

Police got Javier safely out of the house, but they did not locate the suspects.

Rex is currently being treated at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Renton, Washington. The GoFundMe page was set up to cover the fearless dog’s$10,000 medical expenses. At the time of publishing, over $17,000 had been raised.

This article originally appeared on People.com