Society

Anaheim Police K9 Bruno Recovering from Bullet Wound, Gets Hug From His Handler

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A heartwarming photo of Anaheim Police K9 Bruno getting a hug from his Handler, R. J. Young, at the veterinary clinic where he is recovering from a gunshot wound, was shared by The Orange County Police Canine Association and posted on its Facebook page on Monday evening, March 24.

The Association says that Young got to visit only a half-hour. He reportedly has been restricted from spending too much time with Bruno because the dog gets so excited seeing him that he can’t stay still. It is easy to tell from the photo that his love for Officer Young is one of the main reasons Bruno has survived.

K-9 Officer Bruno was shot in the face in a heroic effort that stopped the bullet from hitting three police officers, writes the BHCourier. The Anaheim dog underwent extensive surgery to wire together his shattered jaw and remove half of his lung. Bruno's handler, Officer R.J. Young, stayed with the dog throughout the night of the surgery, Anaheim Police Lt. Tim Schmidt told KTLA.

“The impact on him — that dog is like a child to his family,” Schmidt said about Bruno’s relationship with his partner. “He’s devastated by it.”

This chain of events was started last Thursday at 1:45 p.m., when two Orange County probation officers went to a home in the 1100 block of Mayfair Avenue. The probationer they were looking for was with two men who fled as authorities approached, but one of the men shot at officers multiple times, Anaheim Police said.

A SWAT team was called with a K-9 unit to search the neighborhood. Bruno found one of the men hiding in a trash bin. The man then opened fire on officers and Bruno, striking the dog in the face, Schmidt said. The officers returned fire, killing the suspect, later identified as Robert Moreno Jr., 22.

The bullet pierced Bruno's jaw and lodged in his chest. He is obviously making a remarkable recovery due to the skilled surgeon who removed the bullet and the excellent care he’s receiving at Yorba Linda Regional Animal Hospital, but there is no question Bruno’s will to live is fueled by the mutual devotion he shares with Officer Young.

It is unlikely that 7-year-old Bruno will return to work, according to a message posted on Facebook by the Friends of the Anaheim Police K9 Assn. (Bruno is the senior dog on the Anaheim K-9 Unit.)

It's anticipated that Officer Young will purchase Bruno from the city and acquire his future medical costs, the Association added. A fund has been established to help, because many on social media expressed their desire to donate to Bruno's current and future medical care.

Sources: ABC, LA Times, BH Courier

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