DES MOINES, Washington (KOMO) – Just days after many animal lovers learned of a German shepherd’s fearlessness to protect his teen owner despite being shot multiple times by home burglars, Rex the family dog is now returning home.
The Des Moines dog was captured on video by KOMO-TV limping out of an animal hospital on Sunday with a cone around his neck.
“Reunited and it feels so good” - is probably what Rex the dog would say/sing if he could. Rex was shot multiple times after his owner says he saved his life during a home invasion. #komonews pic.twitter.com/E4KNhhxXVP— Patrick Quinn (@PatrickQuinnTV) February 25, 2018
According to KOMO-TV, surgeons fitted Rex with a pin and screw to hold together one of his back legs in place.
Wagging his tail and happy to see his family, Rex jumped in the back of an SUV to return to very same place where he was shot three times during a home invasion while protecting his 16-year-old owner Javier Mercado.
According to a GoFundMe page created to cover the cost of Rex’s surgeries, Mercado hid in the closet with Rex while he was barking at the intruders.
“Rex’s instinct to protect his home and his best friend, took him downstairs and he attacked the burglars. Both of the burglars struggled and beat him up with whatever they could,” the GoFundMe page said. “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.”
The burglars made their way up the second floor of the home and entered the room where Mercado was hiding in the closet, according to the GoFundMe page.
According to the page, Rex came out from the closet with the little strength he still had and threw himself at the intruders.
That’s when the armed burglars shot Rex multiple times, then later fled the home when they heard sirens coming their way, according to the GoFundMe page.
Mercado told KOMO-TV he called 911 when he heard the burglars smash through the home’s glass door, which also resulted in Rex charging downstairs.
"I heard a bunch of barking and struggling, then one of the guy's screaming, 'The dog, the dog, the dog bit me, get the dog,'" Mercado told KOMO-TV.
Mercado said Rex saved his life, and he doesn’t think he would have survived if it wasn’t for his four-legged protector.
According to KOMO-TV, the Des Moines Police Department is not only investigating the home invasion, but also another break-in to the same home that happened while Rex was recovering in the hospital.
Doctors at the animal hospital said Rex will likely develop arthritis in the future and may need physical therapy, according to KOMO-TV.
Since learning of Rex’s heroism, thousands of people have raised nearly $60,000 for Rex’s medical bills after the page was created Thursday on GoFundMe.com.