Teen calls 911 while hiding during home invasion in Des Moines; family dog shot

A teen hid in a closet and called 911 during a home invasion in Des Moines on Wednesday, Feb. 21, all while ‘Rex’ the family dog fought off the intruders.

The incident happened around 12:20 p.m. Wednesday in the 1400 block of South 234th Street (map below).

Des Moines Police say that when the teen heard the sound of breaking glass, he ran upstairs, hid in a closet and called 911. During the call, the sound of gunshots could be heard.

“When officers first arrived our 911 caller was telling us he was still hearing noises inside the house,” Commander Doug Jenkins told The Waterland Blog. “Based on that information we believed the suspect(s) were still inside when we first got there.”

Jenkins adds that the 911 caller did not actually see anyone.

“He initially heard noises outside and when the sliding glass door shattered he hid in an upstairs closet until officers went inside to get him out. Because no one was seen we do not have any suspect descriptions at all. We plan to canvas the neighborhood to see if anyone else has surveillance cameras.”

Deputies arrived and got the boy safely out of the house, then also discovered that the family dog – a German Shepherd named Rex – had been shot at least three times as he apparently tried to protect his home and family.

Des Moines Police are still investigating the incident.

The family has set up a Gofundme page to raise $10,000 for Rex’ medical needs:


“Rex the héroe dog, a member of our family risked his life and took three gunshots as he protected his human best friend, his master, his brother while their house got vandalized with them inside. Today mid afternoon my cousin’s house was broken into by two lowlifes who terrorized my 16-year old nephew and his German Sheppard, Rex. My nephew hid in the bedroom closet as he frightened, held as hard as he could to his barking Dog. Rex’s instinct to protect his home and his best friend, took him downstairs and he attacked the burglars. Both of the burglars struggled and beat him up with whatever they could. Rex stormed back to the upstairs floor all beat up and bloody from the beating to check on his master who was still hiding in the closet. Soon, the burglars proceeded to the upstairs floor and trashed all the bedrooms. 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. Sadly they shot Rex 4 times and finally Rex, the héroe dog gave up in his battle. It was the sirens who scared them away. 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. Rex’s life depends on a surgery he will need to survive. My cousin has already paid a big sum of money as Rex needed a lot of scans and X-rays and other urgent medicine work up to stabilize him. Every dollar helps. Please, our family can not let Rex the hero dog go without us fighting as hard as he did, to his very last bit of a strength while protecting my nephew. Thank you for your help.”

Here’s video courtesy KCPQ:

Here’s a video report courtesy KIRO-TV:


3 Responses to “Teen calls 911 while hiding during home invasion in Des Moines; family dog shot”
  1. John O'Leary says:

    It broke my heart to read about this. Rex, you are indeed a hero. I wish you a speedy and full recovery. The heartless thugs…not so much.

  2. Mark T. says:

    Dogs are so much better than people……..

  3. BirchCreek says:

    Did they catch the low life criminals?

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