An Anaheim police K-9 handler is "devastated" as he waits to see if his German shepherd will fully recover from being shot Thursday during a chase of probation suspects on the run.
Anaheim Police Lt. Tim Schmidt said the dog, Bruno, slept through the night after undergoing extensive surgery after he was shot in the face by a suspect on the run.
Authorities have said Bruno is expected to survive, but that the 12 to 18 hours immediately after the surgery are vital to the dog's recovery.
Bruno's handler, Officer R.J. Young, stayed with the dog throughout the night, Schmidt told KTLA.
“The impact on him — that dog is like a child to his family,” Schmidt said Friday of Bruno’s relationship with his partner. “He’s devastated by it.”
The chain of events began Thursday at 1:45 p.m. as two Orange County probation officers went to a home in the 1100 block of Mayfair Avenue, KTLA reported.
The probationer they were looking for was with two men who fled as authorities approached. One of the men shot at officers multiple times, Anaheim police said.
Bruno found one of the men during the ensuing search. The suspect was hiding near a trash can and fired on officers and Bruno, striking the dog in the face, Schmidt said.
Officers returned fire, killing the suspect, later identified as Robert Moreno Jr., 22.
Bruno is unlikely to return to work, according to a message posted on Facebook by the Friends of the Anaheim Police K9 Assn. It's anticipated that Young will purchase Bruno from the city and acquire his future medical costs, the association added.
A fund has been established to help pay medical costs as an outpouring of public support hit social media.
“Bruno did his job,” Anaheim Police Sgt. Steve Pena told KTLA. “That’s why we have the dogs — they keep the officers safe. They find the bad guys so the officers can stay behind cover. They keep us safe.”