Dog Gets Shot Trying To Protect His Human, Now He’s Helping The Family Heal

Written by: Stephanie Figy

February 6, 2016

Rhino, a 7-month-old Boxer-Pit Bull mix, found a new home after he and his owner were shot during a home invasion on January 16th.

Rhino took a bullet to the leg while trying to defend his owner, Nakia Pyatt. Unfortunately, Pyatt didn’t survive the invasion. Rhino hid under the bed for six hours while homicide detectives searched the home, and finally came out when Pyatt’s sister, Ivory Poinsett, spoke with detectives on the porch.


Poinsett knew Rhino tried to protect her brother, so she vowed to protect him.

She told

If I can’t have my brother, I can have his other best friend. At least he left his dog to take care of us.

Pyatt, who was moving soon and had an interview lined up for a chef job, loved dogs so much that his family mentioned it in his obituary. Poinsett says her brother spoiled Rhino with his own recliner, luggage bags of toys, and snow boots.

She took the pup to get the care he needed at the Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center in Philadelphia. His caretakers found a bullet in his hind leg and another bullet or a fragment lodged nearby. Since the bullets are impacted near soft tissue, they will only be removed if they start to bother him.


Dealing with the costs of Rhino’s medical care and Pyatt’s funeral, Poinsett set up a GoFundMe account and quickly surpassed her goal of $2,800.

After having time to heal and watching for infection, Rhino was cleared by the vet. Poinsett says the money raised will go to the vet bills and training for the traumatized dog.

Rhino has been a huge comfort to Poinsett’s family and Pyatt’s son through their time of grief, and he’ll always be a happy, furry reminder of their lost loved one. Poinsett told NBC Philadelphia:

My brother always said he would be there for us. So when Rhino survived, I felt that he had left him behind to watch over us and give us peace.

Featured image via Rhino’s GoFundMe

H/t and NBC Philadelphia

Written by: Stephanie Figy

February 6, 2016