On Wednesday, 16-year-old Javier Mercado of Des Moines, Washington, was the victim of a break in.

According to KING5, around midday, Mercado heard something unusual, so he looked outside and “saw a car he did not recognize.” When Mercado’s sliding glass door was loudly shattered, his dog, 2-year-old German Shepherd Rex, bounded down the stairs to investigate.

[He] just started barking and barking. I heard one guy scream, "the dog bit me, get the dog.”

Mercado, who had called 911 and was hiding in a closet, then heard one man come upstairs. The man shot Rex multiple times after the dog had apparently followed him.

I heard one gunshot and several after that, and my dog just cried after every shot that hit him.

Hearing sirens, the perpetrators fled the scene, says Mercado.

After police arrived on the scene, Rex, who had sustained gunshot wounds to the neck and legs, was taken to an animal hospital. He was alive, but would need surgery to survive.

KING5 quotes Mercado, “I was worried, my parents were worried. My dad said he was going to start working every Saturday, saving up.”

Fortunately, Javier’s cousin set up a GoFundMe page for Rex. Describing the incident, Susy Cadena wrote in part:

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 [three] times and finally Rex, the héroe dog, gave up in his battle. It was the sirens who scared them away.

The GoFundMe campaign — which began with a goal of $10,000 — has received more than $58,000 in donations as of this publication.

Javier Mercado told Q13 Fox that if Rex hadn’t been there when the break-in took place, “I feel like I wouldn’t be standing here right now.”