A German shepherd was shot and beaten while it protected its teenage owner from burglars, according to local media reports.
Two thieves broke into a family home in Washington while a 16-year-old boy was at home alone.
As the teenager hid in the closet, his dog, Rex, ran downstairs to confront the intruders.
The thieves attacked the animal, leaving him badly injured, but as they proceeded into the bedrooms Rex continued to defend the teenager and threw himself at the intruders, KTLA reported.
"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 said on a GoFundMe page, which has been set up to raise money for Rex’s treatment.
"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,” she added.
The thieves opened fire and shot Rex in the neck, leg and knee but he managed to survive.
He was taken to an animal hospital in critical condition and remains in the veterinary intensive care unit.
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