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.
$62,221 was raised on GoFundMe 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.”
Rex pulled through his surgery and made a full recovery. He isn’t without mental scars from the event as he suffers from post traumatic stress. But his family arranged for him to receive special therapy and they moved away from the apartment with such bad memories. They were fortunate enough to find a home with a large yard that Rex can enjoy.
His mom recently shared an update in 2021, a few years after the incident. She wrote on the Rex The Hero Dog Facebook page:
“Thanks to all who have been watching Rex’s recovery. I guess it’s never going to be same for Rex or for my son, but there is nothing love can’t cure and even though he has PTSD we always let him know that everything is going to be ok. He still struggles sometimes especially at night when he gets nightmares, good thing he sleeps right next to me so when I notice that he is having a nightmare I slowly whisper to him “is ok Rex. Is ok” and he feels better and goes back to sleep. It definitely has been difficult, but again there is nothing love can’t cure, and little by little he staring to trust people when he is out to play or for walks.”
Rex also has a new family member to love and dote on!
It’s comforting to know that Rex is doing well and his family is surrounding him with love.