The Anaheim police dog shot in the face during a confrontation with a suspect was expected to undergo additional surgery Friday, though the German shepherd's condition was continuing to improve, officials said.
Bruno suffered a shattered jaw and damaged lung when a gunman opened fire during a confrontation with officers in an alleyway late last week. The suspect, a 21-year-old man who was being sought on a possible probation violation, was shot and killed by police.
The dog's partner, Officer R.J. Young, said in a blog post that if doctors were satisfied with Bruno's progress, during the surgery they would remove a tube from his chest.
"If so, that means his damaged lung is doing what it's supposed to do," Young said in Behind the Badge, an Anaheim police blog.
Bruno is expected to be retired and will then live with Young. Funds are being raised to help defray his medical costs.
Earlier this week, Young and his newborn daughter visited Bruno for 30 minutes at Yorba Regional Animal Hospital, the K-9 officer's first reunion with his partner since the shooting.
"The best part of my day was when I got to lay down with him for 10 [minutes]," Young said in a statement on the Orange County Police Canine Assn.'s Facebook page.
The German shepherd was shot March 20 about 1:45 p.m. as two Orange County probation officers went to a home in the 1100 block of Mayfair Avenue.
The suspect 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.
During a subsequent search, Bruno found one of the men hiding near a trash can. The suspect then fired on officers and Bruno, striking the dog in the face, according to Anaheim police Lt. Tim Schmidt.
Officers returned fire, killing the suspect, later identified as Robert Moreno Jr., 21.
Friends of the Anaheim Police K9 Assn. have launched a fundraiser to help pay for Bruno's future expenses.