Reward of Up to $5,000 Offered for Help Nabbing Burglars Who Shot Dog

PETA Seeks Public's Help in Identifying Intruders Who Shot Dog Three Times—and Honors Brave Canine Companion With 'Hero Award'

For Immediate Release:
February 27, 2018

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Des Moines, Wash. – At 12:24 p.m. on February 21, 16-year-old Javier Mercado was alone in his family’s home in the 1400 block of South 234th Street when he heard people breaking into the house. As he called 911 from upstairs, his dog, Rex, ran downstairs to confront the burglars and managed to bite one of them. In response, the men beat him bloody before following him upstairs and shooting him three times. The intruders fled when they heard police sirens approaching, leaving the dog critically wounded and Mercado unharmed. Rex was rushed into emergency surgery at a nearby veterinary clinic and is now recovering at home.

Police are investigating but have yet to make any arrests in connection with the crime. That’s why PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction on cruelty-to-animals charges of the people responsible for beating and shooting Rex.

“These robbers didn’t hesitate to beat and shoot a dog who was only trying to protect a beloved family member,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA urges anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area that afternoon or who has information about this case to come forward immediately before these dangerous criminals strike again.”

Anyone with information about this case should call the Des Moines Police Department at 206-878-3301.

PETA will present Rex with a Heroic Dog Award, which honors dogs for their heroic actions and reminds people how intelligent and sensitive animals are. More details are to come.

For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind