Faithful dog risks life to save Des Moines boy from intruders

Feb 22, 2018, 6:15 PM
des moines...
(Des Moines Police)
(Des Moines Police)

A 16-year-old boy was rescued after armed intruders broke into his Des Moines home Wednesday. His dog, Rex, was not as lucky.

“He went and hid in a closet, and all the while he is on the phone with 911,” said Commander Doug Jenkins with the Des Moines Police Department.

“He hears his dog barking. He hears some gun shots. And then he no longer hears his dog barking,” he said. “But he can hear a person or people inside the home.”

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While the teen hid in a closet upstairs, his German Shepherd ran down the stairs to confront the strangers. The family says Rex’s instinct to protect his best friend and brother was a beautiful act of unconditional love.

“The dog kept barking, they were able to break in, they trashed the whole bottom floor, and Rex ran downstairs and attacked the guys,” said Aunt Susy Cadena. “(The boy) was listening to the big battle down there. They were both screaming stuff to the dog and you could hear them beat him up. I think one said, ‘the dog bit me, help me.'”

“They shot him four times …” she said. “Right when the shots went off, I think the dispatcher heard them, too. Then the sirens went off and it scared them off. Otherwise, I think they would have gone straight for the closet. Rex saved my nephew’s life.”

Fundraiser for Des Moines dog

Rex needs surgery to survive. Cadena set up a GoFundMe page to raise $10,000 for the dog’s treatment. They’ve already surpassed that goal (more than $15,000 by Thursday night).

Cadena said that Rex has always been protective of the family and close to her nephew. The dog commonly sleeps in her nephew’s room.

“After he was shot, he was whimpering and crying, and he went to (my nephew’s) bed to find comfort,” Cadena said. “He just wanted to rest on the bed. It was so emotional to know how much love he has for him and what he was willing to do to protect him.”

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Faithful dog risks life to save Des Moines boy from intruders