Police dog gets hit by two bullets but returns as a hero!
Thurston County, Washington - When a police dog took a bullet on a life-threatening chase, officers feared for his survival. But the German shepherd was strong and returned as a hero.
The three-year-old canine named Arlo was shot while on duty on January 14, the Thurston County Sheriff's Office K9 Unit shared on Facebook.
The officers were reportedly chasing a 25-year-old armed suspect, who tried to escape the police. The dangerous hit and run resulted in an officer-involved shooting, during which the poor pooch got hit with two bullets.
The suspect also suffered serious injuries and was rushed to the hospital.
Fearing for their four-legged friend's life, officers immediately took the brave dog to the veterinary hospital, where his dramatic fight for survival began.
When the doctors examined him, they realized that one of the bullets had also gone up to his spine. Two surgeries would be required to treat the dog!
The same day, firefighters rushed the injured animal to a different hospital, where a specialist performed a second surgery. Meanwhile, Arlo was still struggling for his life, and even developed a 104-degree fever. But the surgeons brought it under control and successfully removed the bullets.
"The Neurosurgeon said that they could not have predicted that the outcome of this would be as good as it turned out. The next 48 hours will tell a lot, and they hope to have Arlo up moving around and walking shortly to insure there’s no lasting spinal injury," the police department wrote post-operation.
And after 48 hours came the relief: Arlo was stable and improving every day. A few days later, they even released him from the animal hospital!
Police dog becomes viral sensation on TikTok
Despite being somewhat wobbly on his feet, Arlo finally headed home on Monday, January 18. A police escort was waiting outside the hospital to cheer for the pooch.
A video of the heart-warming welcome amassed lots of love on Facebook.
But the footage also garnered quite a bit of attention on TikTok, receiving nearly 51 million views and over 9.3 million likes within two days.
"I just can't contain the water leaking from my eyes right now," one user commented, and 200,000 agreed. "I WAS NOT PREPARED TO CRY LIKE THIS," another one chimed in.
Arlo was already melting hearts on TikTok before his fight for survival, but now, the @k9arlo account, operated by his beloved colleague Tyler Turpin, has 1.7 million followers.
The sheriff's office now provides daily updates on their four-legged friend's journey back to health, and it seems he is making great progress.
Meanwhile, the police reports that the support "has been overwhelming," and Arlo has been receiving "thousands of gifts and treats from people" every day.
Cover photo: facebook.com/Thurston-County-Sheriffs-Office-K9-Unit