The brave dog narrowly escaped from having his life taken. "It's a miracle that Arlo's still alive," said the vet.
A police chase in Washington that involved an armed driver led to a K9 officer getting shot twice and being severely wounded. After multiple surgeries, a fever of 104 degrees, and several days in the hospital, the 3-year-old German shepherd named Arlo came back home to a big welcome fit for a hero.
Having received his certification towards the end of 2019, Arlo may be the newest member of the Thurston County K9 unit but he is extremely skilled on the job.
"He's an amazing dog," said K9 unit supervisor Sgt. Rod Ditrich, as reported by KGW. "He's just so enthusiastic and he's one of our most vocal, energetic dogs that we've got — he just is always happy, wants to please, just an amazing animal. Super easy to train. He lives for the job — that's all he wants to do is please Deputy Turpin and perform the job of a police K-9."
Arlo is also quite the star on social media and has more than 600,000 fans on TikTok who watch videos of him uploaded by his handler, Deputy Tyler Turpin.
After Arlo was severely injured from being shot twice during the police chase on January 13, Arlo was rushed to a clinic and taken into surgery. The vets managed to treat the gunshot wound that Arlo suffered on his leg.
"When they cleaned and inspected the bullet wound in the other leg, they were amazed at the lack of injury, saying that the bullet missed K-9 Arlo’s knee by less than a centimeter and that if it had hit the knee, amputation would have been likely," according to KOMO News.
However, when they found that one of the bullets was wedged closed to his spine, they shifted him to the Oregon State University in Corvallis for further treatment.
Dr. Jen Warnock, the orthopedic veterinary surgeon who was on Arlo's case told KGW, "It's a miracle that Arlo's still alive... The C6 vertebra was shattered; the bullet missed an artery that would've killed him by a millimeter; it could've destroyed his carotid artery. He's unlucky but lucky at the same time."
It was clear that the K9 officer had a long road to recovery. Although Arlo won't be able to join his fellow Thurston County Deputies any time soon, he is still showing positive signs. "He's still weak, but he's improving by leaps and bounds," Dr. Warnock said.
Everybody at the Thurston County-Sheriff's office as well as his fans on social media were rooting for Arlo's speedy recovery. A GoFundMe page saw kind donors offer $73,705 for Arlo's treatment expenses.
While Arlo was still in the ICU, Sgt. Ditrich said, "We just want what's best for Arlo."
On January 19, the Thurston County-Sheriff's Facebook page shared a video of Arlo receiving a big welcome after he was discharged from the hospital.
According to KOMO News, deputies shared about the heartwarming welcome, "When Deputy Turpin and K-9 Arlo arrived home, they were greeted by neighbors, friends, firefighters, fellow K-9 handlers from multiple organizations from local and surrounding counties and a multitude of law enforcement officers from all local agencies and surrounding county and police agencies. It was quite humbling! Arlo is currently at home resting with his family."
The latest update shared on the Thurston County Sheriff's Office K9 Unit Facebook page, "He’s at home resting and getting lots of attention from Deputy Turpin and his family."