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Rex, the German Shepherd, saved his 16-year-old owner's life. (Photo: KOMO)

'Get the dog!': Family pet shot in burglary

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By Gabe Cohen

DES MOINES, Wash. (KOMO) — A family in Washington State says their dog saved his 16-year-old owner during a burglary Wednesday, but was shot three times in the process.

Javier Mercado, 16, was home alone when he heard several people break into his family’s house in Des Moines. He says he dialed 911 and hid in a bathroom closet.

Meanwhile his German shepherd Rex ran in to defend the home.

“As soon as he heard the window shatter, he ran downstairs full charge,” Mercado said. “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!’”

After a long tussle, Mercado says he heard four gunshots, and the dog cried out. Seconds later, he says, police arrived, and the burglars fled.

“I think if it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be standing here today,” Mercado said about Rex.

The family says Rex was shot three times, once in the neck and one shot in each hind leg. As of Wednesday he was stable and awaiting surgery at BluePearl Pet Hospital in Seattle.

The veterinary hospital said surgery is tentatively set for Friday.

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Des Moines police say officers are investigating the burglary. Family members tells KOMO News they don’t know if the burglars stole anything, and they aren’t sure who would do this.

The community has raised more than $15,000 for Rex’s medical bills. To find out more, click here.

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