Bruno, the Anaheim Police K-9 officer who was shot in the face on Thursday, ate on his own for the first time Sunday afternoon – an important step in his recovery, officials said.
He was shot during a search for a gunman who had fired at probation officers. The round entered his mouth, shattered his jaw and ended up less than an inch from his heart.
On Saturday night, he received blood from his Anaheim Police K-9 colleague, Ares; another Anaheim Police K-9, Guenther, also donated blood.
“His blood count/numbers are slightly up,” wrote Officer Brett Klevos in an email to colleagues Sunday afternoon, thanking them for their support and prayers.
He said doctors removed Bruno’s catheter Sunday, and the German Shepherd took a short walk on some grass at the Yorba Regional Animal Hospital (read more below the video).
“It was exhausting for K9 Bruno, but a great sign,” Klevos wrote. “The swelling has gone slightly down in his jaw. They made a special paste out of his prescription food and he was able to consume it with his back teeth.”
Though still considered in critical condition, the doctor told Klevos that Bruno is “making leaps and bounds considering what he has been through. He is still being given heavy antibiotics and is on heavy sedation to hopefully keep him improving and keep him on the road to recovery.”
He is not yet taking visitors, but Klevos wrote that he “is in the best hands possible,” adding “we could see more of ‘Bruno’ in his eyes today.”
Surgeons reconstructed his jaw during a three-hour surgery following the shooting.
Since Thursday, hundreds of thousands of people have posted supportive messages on the police department’s Facebook page, via Twitter and via other social media outlets.
“Those of us at the police department are touched by the unbelievable outpouring of support from the community and across the nation and world,” said Lt. Tim Schmidt. “Bruno did his job this week, locating a dangerous suspect and very likely saving officers’ lives. And since then, he has shown a remarkable will to live.”
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