Teen at home alone with dog when burglars break in—what dog ends up doing, teen hears gunshots

"He was trying to protect Javier...My hero. My four-legged angel and hero.”
March 6, 2018 11:23 am Last Updated: March 6, 2018 3:53 pm

Home invasions are terrifying. Often, these criminals are petty thieves, seeking valuables to take, but sometimes they are after much more.

One teen was the victim of a recent home invasion. The assailants were armed and dangerous and, had he been discovered, the boy might not have made it out alive.

Thankfully though, the boy’s incredibly heroic 2-year-old German Shepherd was there to take a literal bullet to save his owner.

When Javier Cadena first heard the glass shattering downstairs he knew the situation was dangerous.

(CBS New York/Screenshot)

Last week, 16-year-old Des Moines, Washington, resident Javier Cadena was home by himself. Well, not alone, he had his 2-year-old German Shepherd, Rex, to keep him company. The two were upstairs enjoying their night when Javier heard the smash of a glass door downstairs; two men had just broken into his house.

Javier was understandably terrified. He ran to one of the bathrooms and hid in a closet. The young teen did the right thing, because, unbeknownst to Javier, the burglars were armed.

But while Javier hid for his life, Rex was not about to let these men hurt his owner and burgle his home.

The dog immediately ran downstairs to confront the criminals.

Rex attacked the men fiercely—he was going to protect his owner no matter what.

(CBS New York/Screenshot)

“I started hearing barking, a lot of barking,” Javier told CBS New York. “Then one of the guys screamed, ‘get the dog, the dog bit me, the dog bit me!’”

Rex had attacked the criminals, biting and pulling at them. The two men attempted to fight off the dog, beating him savagely with stolen goods and their fists; Rex was bloodied and received severe bruising from the attack. But the dog did not stop.

The men, perhaps looking to retreat from the dog and pilfer some expensive items, headed up the stairs—toward the hiding Javier.

Rex followed them and continued the attack. That was when Javier heard four sounds that made his heart stop—the burglars had shot Rex.

Rex was shot three times defending Javier.

(CBS New York/Screenshot)

“They didn’t hesitate on shooting Rex,” Javier said. “They didn’t hold back on anything.”

Rex was shot twice in the back legs and once in the neck.

Then I heard them scream out, ‘let’s get out of here,'” Javier told ABC 7 News.

After the shots, nearby police sirens forced the criminals to retreat. Thankfully, without ever discovering Javier.

As soon as they were gone, Javier went to check on his rescuer. Rex was in bad shape, but alive. He immediately called 911 and had emergency services rush the dog to a veterinarian.

Rex was in bad shape, but he survived and is recovering.

(CBS New York/Screenshot)

And he survived. Despite being shot three times and beaten to a pulp, he is now home and recovering with his grateful family.

“If Rex wasn’t there, they would have opened that door and they would have saw me in there,” Javier told CBS New York.

Rex has been rightly called a hero and will receive several notable awards for his actions, such as PETA’s Heroic Dog Award and The German Shepherd Dog Club of America’s Hero of the Year award.

The two men who shot the heroic dog have not been found, but PETA has placed a $5,000 reward for information that will lead to their arrest.

But whether these criminals are caught or not, what Rex did was truly spectacular.

“He was trying to protect Javier,” Julia Cadena, Javier’s mother, told ABC 7 News. “That was his whole mission there. My hero. My four-legged angel and hero.”