Cali. police K-9 to retire after being shot in the face - KPTV - FOX 12

Cali. police K-9 to retire after being shot in the face

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ANAHEIM, CA - A California police dog, who was severely wounded in the line of fire, is now out of the hospital and recovering at home.

Word of the German Shepherd's heroism has captured international attention and prompted an outpouring of support as he recovers and now retires.

With a new spring in his step, Anaheim police K-9, Bruno, rushed out of the animal hospital, amid cheers.

The seven-year-old Sable German Shepherd is hailed a hero for taking a bullet while on duty, saving the lives of several Anaheim officers.

After six weeks, Bruno finally returns home with his handler.

"To have my partner by my side again is an absolutely amazing thing," said Bruno's handler Officer R.J. Young.

In March, Bruno tracked down a violent suspect.

During the stand-off, he was shot in the face. The bullet shattered Bruno's lower jaw, damaged his lung, and lodged in his chest.

But even life-threatening injuries wouldn't stop this fiercely independent animal from surviving.

"Even within a couple of days after the surgery, when we got up and walked him outside, if he saw a police car or another police officer, he would cry and whine. He's like, I want to get back to work! I want to leave. I'm okay! So, he was just a real fighter," said Dr. Steven Dunbar with Yorba Linda Regional Animal Hospital.

His injuries will end six years of loyal service with the K-9 unit, where Bruno served as senior lead dog.

Now, he'll have to watch his partner head off to work alone.

"So, the dog stays home - a little upset at home, crying. It's an adjustment," said Anaheim City Police Chief Raul Quezada.

But Bruno won't be alone for long.

Anaheim City Hall and the police department will honor him and on July 4th, he'll be Grand Marshall in the city's parade.

Bruno officially retires May 13th. Two statues at local dog parks are in the works.

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