A German shepherd followed his protective instincts when he felt his teenage owner was in danger after two thieves broke into the family's home Wednesday. The home invasion took place around 12:20 p.m. in the 1400 block of South 234th Street, according to Des Moines Police Department Commander Doug Jenkins.
"A 16-year-old boy who was home alone said he believed someone was breaking in," Jenkins said. "He heard noises and voices, ran upstairs and hid in the closet. He continued relaying everything he heard on the phone with dispatch." The teen hid in the closet with his dog Rex but the 2-year-old German shepherd ran downstairs to confront the intruders.
The home-invaders beat the dog leaving him severely wounded before continuing through the residence. Rex was able to get back upstairs to his owner even though he was bleeding from multiple injuries and protected him as the thieves reached the bedrooms. The teen's aunt described what happened next on a GoFundMe page.
"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," Susy Cadena wrote on the page. The thieves then shot Rex multiple times, he was hit in the neck, leg, and knee but managed to survive.
"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." Cadena went on to call Rex a "hero dog." The intruders fled the home after they heard police sirens in the distance and were gone by the time officers arrived.
The dog was taken to an animal hospital in critical condition and was later transported to BluePearl Veterinary Partners where he remains in the veterinary intensive care unit. Rex owners put $2,000 toward the dog's medical bills but asked for help with the rest. The GoFundMe the Cadena's setup for Rex had surpassed its goal of $10,000 on Thursday.
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