Some dogs are man’s best friend, but Rex the German shepherd is this teen’s hero.
The 2-year-old pet dog is beginning to recover after being shot multiple times while protecting 16-year-old Javier Mercado, who was home alone when his family's house near Seattle, Wash. was broken into.
Rex has not yet returned home from the veterinary hospital, and continues to be on pain medication. He suffered fractured bones as a result of the bullets, but doctors are optimistic the German shepherd will make a full recovery.
“I just want to thank my dog,” Mercado told CBS News. “If it wasn’t for him, I don’t feel like I’d be standing here right now.”
He explained it was just him and Rex in the house when he heard a violent banging on a glass door.
When the door shattered, he dashed into a closet and dialed 911, giving the dispatcher a minute-to-minute update.
Rex, however, jumped into action.
“My dog sprinted downstairs and started barking really loud […] then one of the guys screamed, ‘Get the dog, the dog bit me, the dog bit me,’” Mercado recalled. “Then I heard one gun shot, then several after that. My dog cries after each shot. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen.”
When officers arrived, they said they found Rex wounded by gunshot, and were able to escort the dog and boy to safety.
Police told KCPQ they were unable to find the suspects after searching the home. Family members said the suspects must have taken off when they heard the sirens.
“They didn’t hesitate shooting Rex or hold back on anything,” Mercado said. “If Rex wasn’t there, they would have opened that door and they would have saw me in there.”
To donate to Rex’s medical bills, visit the family’s GoFundMe page.