(ANAHEIM, Calif.) — After seven-year-old police dog Bruno was shot in the line of duty last week, it was unclear whether or not he would survive.
“The next 12-18 hours will decide if the dog can make it,” Anaheim Police Department Lt. Tim Schmidt said last Friday.
Now, Bruno has made a full recovery after emergency surgery and has been reunited with his fellow officer and best friend.
“The bond is unexplainable,” partner R.J. Young said. “Seeing him the way he is kills me.”
After police officers responded to an incident in an Anaheim apartment complex, Bruno found a suspect near a trash can.
That’s when, police said, the suspect stepped up and shot the dog and at the officers. The German Shepard barely whimpered after being shot and returned to his partners side, even though he was bleeding profusely.
“It was a horrific thing to have to watch,” Young said. “My entire world came crumbling down in the matter of a second.”
A police escort shut down roads to clear the way to the animal hospital emergency room and Bruno underwent hours of surgery. The bullet round exited his lower jar and reentered the body in the chest cavity, just an inch from his heart. He lost part of his lung and the bullet was not removed because of the trauma of the surgery.
Now, Bruno’s partner plans to adopt the dog and take over all of his medical expenses.
“I know a lot of people may not understand,” Young’s wife Rachel said. “They may say it’s just a dog, but this dog went with him everywhere. The dog spends more time with him than I spend with him.”
For those saying it’s just a dog, Lt. Schmidt said, “There’s no doubt this dog saved three officers through the heroic effort of what he did doing his job.”
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Samira Said, CNN
Azadeh Ansari and Angela Dewan, CNN
Lorenzo Ferrigno, CNN
Ashley Strickland, CNN