Hero dog shot 3 times while defending teen returns home

RENTON, Wash. -- Rex, the dog being hailed a hero, was finally back home safe Sunday after a successful surgery.

Rex was shot three times while protecting a teen during a traumatic home invasion robbery in Des Moines, Washington, on Wednesday.

The German shepherd underwent surgery to repair his broken tibia on his left hind leg. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Javier, the 16-year-old who Rex risked his life for, said he is going to spend some time giving back to his best friend.

"That's my little guy right there. That's my best friend," Javier told KCPQ. "He's really traumatized. Now fast reactions will scare him and kind of like he'll jump, but I think we will get through it just work on it slowly."

Rex will need to continue to visit the vet for massage therapy and physical therapy.

The family expressed their gratitude and thankfulness to everyone who donated to cover Rex's medical bills. They plan to save the money so they can continue to afford the best care for him.

Last week, Javier was home alone when the break-in happened.

He was hiding in a closet giving updates to a 911 dispatcher during the burglary when he heard gunshots and Rex suddenly stopped barking.

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.

"As they entered the room where my nephew was hiding in the closet, Rex came out with the little strength he had left in him and threw himself at them as he knew my nephew was in danger," Susy Cadena wrote.

The thieves opened fire, shooting Rex multiple times. He was struck in the neck, leg and knee, yet managed to survive, KCPQ reported.

"My nephew was protected by his eternal friend until the last bit of strength he had in him to do what his unconditional, loving instinct told him to," Cadena wrote, calling Rex a "hero dog."

The suspects were no longer in the home when officers arrived. They remain at large.