DES MOINES, Wash. – A 16-year-old Washington state boy was hiding in a closet giving updates to a 911 dispatcher during a burglary at his family's home, when he heard gunshots and his dog suddenly stopped barking.
Des Moines police Cmdr. Doug Jenkins said the first 911 call came in at about 12:20 p.m. about a home on South 234th Street. Police said the teen was home alone when the break-in happened.
"He heard noises and voices, ran upstairs and hid in closet," Jenkins told KCPQ.
The family's 2-year-old German shepherd Rex ran downstairs to confront the intruders, according to Seattle television station KIRO. The thieves beat the dog, leaving him badly injured.
Even after being bloodied and hurt, Rex still had enough strength left to get back to the teen -- his best friend -- and protect him as the thieves proceeded into the bedrooms, including the one where the boy was hiding, the teen's aunt said in a GoFundMe page.
Officers arrived, got the teen safely out of the house and found the family dog wounded by an apparent gunshot. The rear sliding door of the home had been shattered, police said.
No arrests had been made as of Thursday afternoon.
The dog is now at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Renton. Rex was shot in the neck, leg and knee.
Rex's family has already paid $2,000 for the scans, X-rays and other urgent treatment to stabilize him. Now, they need the money for the $8,000 surgery today to save his life. The bullet wound to his neck is the most serious and life-threatening injury. Click here if you'd like to help.