Heroic dog who saved teen owner in Washington is recovering, will receive 2 awards

DES MOINES, Wash. (KABC) -- Rex, the heroic German shepherd who was shot three times by burglars while saving his teen owner's life, will receive awards from PETA and a national dog club.

The hero is expected to receive PETA's Heroic Dog Award and The German Shepherd Dog Club of America's Hero of the Year award.

In addition to the honors, PETA is offering a $5,000 reward for information that will lead to the arrest and animal-cruelty conviction for the burglary suspects who shot Rex.

Last week, 16-year-old Javier Cadena was home alone in his Des Moines home when burglars smashed through the glass door. He hid in a bathroom closet and Rex went downstairs to scare off the intruders.

Rex was able to bite one of the men, but they beat him to get away. As they headed upstairs, Rex continued trying to attack the burglars despite being bloodied and bruised. That's when he was shot three times - including once in the neck. Sirens from nearby police cars prompted the burglars to flee the home.

Rex was then rushed into emergency surgery. As of Tuesday, his family said he is home recovering from his wounds.

Javier's aunt, Susy Cadena, created a GoFundMe account to help the family pay for Rex's medical bills and in a Tuesday update said their heroic pet now suffers from PTSD. She said he will soon visit a veterinary psychologist.

That GoFundMe page surpassed its $10,000 goal and is currently at more than $62,000. Susy Cadena said she and the family are grateful for the contributions and have asked that people no longer donate.

She said the family is also sorting out what to do with any extra funds, but added that Rex's medical and psychological bills haven't been assessed yet.

"We have repeated in many occasions that (it) is no longer necessary to donate but many of you have continued to do so and we appreciate it greatly," the page said. "We also have repeatedly stated that we are looking at different organizations to donate to. But we also want you to know that the family has not had any access yet to the funded money."

Anyone with information on the burglars is urged to contact the Des Moines Police Department at (206) 878-3301.
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