Homeowner finds intruder stabbing family dog

SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane homeowner fought back Wednesday night when he caught a burglar inside his home stabbing the family dog.

"I did everything I could to protect what was mine," Joe Crocker said.

Joe Crocker, who lives on Regal and Diamond in North Spokane, said he came home just after 6 p.m. Wednesday and found a man in his home.

Homeowner finds intruder stabbing family dog

"He came out of the shadows, from the bookcase, when I seen the shadow coming at me I seen the face I just started hitting him because who knows what he had," said Crocker

Crocker stabbed the burglar at least once in the leg.  The burglar stabbed Crocker's pit bull mix, Chance, in the neck.

At one point the fight spilled out into the street, where a neighbor help Crocker pin the suspect down until police arrived.

"In this case, neighbor assisted homeowner and we encourage that we certainly don't want anyone looking for trouble but you do have right to defend your self, other people and property when its appropriate to do so," Lt. Dean Sprague said.

"I think it's pretty sorry to go into somebody's house and see that they had a dog and  try to kill the dog to take some belongings," Crocker said.

"That dude could've had everything I had and just leave my dog alone," he said.

The suspect is now at a local hospital being treated for his injuries.  Spokane Police identify him as 42-year-old Rodger Mendenhall. He is charged with 1st degree burglary, 2nd degree assault and 1st degree animal cruelty.