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Dog shot three times protecting owners expected to make a full recovery

Owner Joseph Adams give 4 year-old- pit bull Rocco a belly rub.

Toledo, Ohio (WNWO)-- “That dog saved me and my wife's life that night. If it wasn't for that dog, I probably wouldn't be here," said dog owner Joseph Adams.

It's a role man's best friend is made famous for-- protecting.

But Adams never thought it would come down to his beloved pit bull Rocco and three bullets.

Last Thursday night just after 8:30 p.m. he and his wife were home on Columbus avenue in North Toledo when he thought he heard firecrackers. After his wife screamed,Adams, who was in his bedroom, realized they were gunshots.

"I heard the first round, then another round Boom Boom," said Adams describing the sound.

Watching the home's security footage Adams later pieced it all together.

Three people were trying to break in the home. One on the porch and two were headed inside.

What the intruders didn't count on , was an 80 pound pit bull standing guard.

"Rocco jumped up and ran after them and that's when they ran out the door backwards and the one guy looked up like this," said Adams motioning to the security camera on his porch.

The men, wearing hoods and masks, escaped, but not before shooting Rocco three times.

"He was bleeding real bad, I'm holding him you know crying, " said Joseph.

The first vet the family took the pet to was going to charge them over four grand for surgery, but since they couldn't afford that - they went to Shoreland Animal Hospital who took the pet in on Monday.

Veterinarian Dr. Shawn Brown. was surprised by the pups injuries, given the multiple gunshot wounds, but says he'll be okay and doesn't need surgery.

"He does have some soft tissue injury but he looks like he is going to recover just fine ," said Brown.

Adams still can't figure out who would steal from him.

But he says he's grateful for Rocco's full recovery, a dog whom he considers a son.

"It killed me to sit there and hold my dog with these bullet holes in him thinking that my dog is going to die because somebody wants to run up in here and try and steal something ," said Adams.

The family did create a GO Fund Me Account when they thought the dog was going to need surgery, but the generous public soon exceeded the amount raising $1,460.

The family says they will use a portion of the proceeds to make a donation to Shoreland for how helpful they were with the pit.

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