Hearts United for Animals Helps Hero Dog Shot While Protecting His Family – REWARD OFFERED

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Nine month old Rex saved his family last night when home invaders broke into their home, threw the woman of the house to the ground and held her by the throat.  Rex charged the intruders and was shot by the second one.  They fled and have not yet been captured.  Rex sustained severe injury to his left front leg where the bullet entered and has a broken toe on his right rear foot where the bullet exited.  Rex was transported to the Animal Emergency Clinic in Omaha in severe distress and pain from the bullet wounds.  The family was so very proud of Rex, and yet devastated because they did not have the funds they would need in order to save his life.  The clinic called an Hearts United for Animals director at 2:00 am asking if HUA would help to save Rex’s life, and hopefully his leg.  There was no hesitation.  Rex was truly a hero and deserved every chance to recover and go home to his beloved family.  Efforts began immediately to stabilize him and and get him comfortable with pain medication.  This morning he was transferred to Mobile Animal Clinic, HUA’s preferred veterinary clinic in Omaha, where he has been given the largest recovery suite with a big bed, although being an Akita/Husky mix he prefers the cool floor most of the time.  The best orthopedic specialist in Omaha was called in to review Rex’s x-rays and it was determined that although the operation will be intricate, he believes he can save Rex’s leg.  The biggest risk now is infection.  Because of the bullet wound and bone fragments Rex will need to be on IV antibiotics until Tuesday, when the infection should subside enough to safely perform the operation that involves many pins and plates.  He will be hospitalized at Mobile Animal Clinic for approximately a week and then will have a 12 week recovery period when he goes home to his family.  The family is beyond grateful for Hearts United for Animal’s help in saving Rex, who they call their hero and their big fluff ball.  The expenses for Rex are expected to total $6,000.  Both of his veterinarians are contributing to decrease the amount and Rex has received a substantial donation from another wonderful HUA supporter and board member.  It will be a long road, and donations for our emergency medical fund are always needed.  Please donate online at www.hua.org and note “emergency medical fund” or “Rex” in the comment section or click here to go directly to our donation page.  We are also offering a $5,000 private reward for the capture and conviction of the criminals who shot Rex.  Please contact the Omaha Police Department Crime Stoppers Unit at 402-444-STOP with tips, or you can write to us at hua@hua.org and we will pass along the information to the Omaha Police Department.

Today we received this message from Erin at the Animal Emergency Clinic regarding her experience with Rex last night and the work HUA does to help dogs in desperate need.  She agreed that we could share it with you:

Dear HUA,

I have been a vet tech at the Animal Emergency Clinic for almost 10years now. During that time I have cared for many animals, some only needed a little care, others needed a miracle. I have witnessed animals that have walked out of our hospital when nobody thought they would be able to. Last night, when Rex and his family came to us I was so proud of him for saving his family. He is a hero! When I learned that his family may not have the funds to help him, I was devastated. Here was this beautiful, stoic puppy that did the only thing that he knew to do to keep the people he loved safe, but because of finances his future was unknown. I left work at about 1:30am knowing that the family was still searching for a way to help him. One of my assistants called me and asked what they should do, and I could only think of one last try, and that was to call you! Later I got a message saying that you had agreed to pay for the medical bills so this family could take there precious friend home. I was in tears when I heard the news. I have cared for many animals that your rescue has stepped in and saved. Sometimes I forget why I am in this profession, and last night I was reminded that it is to help those that cannot help themselves. I just wanted to tell you that your rescue and the many people that are a part of it are angels and I will never forget how generous and wonderful you are.

Thank you, for always being there, when sometimes others can’t.

Erin Rankin

Our hearts are touched by this special message which highlights the importance of the work we do, and of course also we are deeply touched by Rex today.  The HUA board member who took the call has been to visit him several times today and he is doing very well, quite relaxed and sedated, being kept comfortable by his pain meds.  His family is making regular visits to see their precious boy as well.  Many thanks to all of our supporters who make this important work possible for dogs like Rex.

Please visit our Facebook page for updates on Rex and to see the links to the news coverage of his story.  More photos are posted below.



4 Responses to “Hearts United for Animals Helps Hero Dog Shot While Protecting His Family – REWARD OFFERED”

  1. Cindy Ryba Says:
    May 17th, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    so thankful for your organization…..question: where have the charges come from and why aren’t they Pro Bono in a case like this?
    thanks again for being there for Rex!!

  2. HuaLori Says:
    May 17th, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Hi Cindy, Unfortunately veterinarians see cases of deserving dogs with owners who have fallen on hard times many times a week. They can’t afford to give away their services for free because they have supplies to purchase, staff to pay, etc. Rex will require round the clock care for a week and have three different attending veterinarians…the emergency clinic vet, the regular animal clinic and the specialty surgeon. We appreciate that they are giving generous discounts for Rex’s care and understand that doing these things for free just isn’t possible. Most veterinarians would likely not have even worked with us, so we feel fortunate to have found such wonderfully skilled and caring individuals whom we trust and who offer their services at a discounted rate for cases like Rex.

  3. Operation Warm & Cozy Inc. Says:
    May 19th, 2013 at 4:15 am

    Way to go Rex and Hearts United!! Wishing Rex the speediest recovery. GOOD BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The exact reason why dogs should ALWAYS be honored and cherished. The save human lives every day!!!

  4. Lois Karasek Says:
    July 4th, 2013 at 9:09 am

    If $6,000 is considered a “discounted” price for Rex’s surgery, I cringe to think what they might have charged otherwise. While I have been a supporter of HUA for many years and greatly admire their work and dedication to the animals, having been a non-profit rescuer myself for nearly 18 years, I have seen my share of injured animals and coincidentally have in my care at this moment a young Lab with a .22 caliber bullet wound in her shoulder. A course of antibiotics is the course of treatment we chose with the option of a possible future amputation, although the way she gets around, it’s a doubtful option. I can’t help but wonder if this might have been an option considered for Rex, or if the mere desire that he keep the use of all four legs has earned the clinic this hefty fee for services. Perhaps I have simply learned to be more practical and frugal because of more limited funds.

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