Update: K-9 Bruno’s lungs functioning, surgery successful

K-9 Officer Bruno’s miraculous recovery from a gunshot wound last week took another positive turn Friday – when doctors declared that his repaired lung is now working properly.

An X-ray of Bruno's shattered jaw

An X-ray of Bruno’s shattered jaw

“It was a very successful surgery,” said Lt. Tim Schmidt. “They took his breathing tube out, and he’s healing exactly the way they want him to.”

Bruno fasted for 12-hours before the early morning surgery at Yorba Regional Animal Hospital.

Surgeons also reattached the bottom portion of his tongue, which will enable him to drink and eat with greater ease.

It’s unclear when he’ll return home with his partner and handler, Officer R.J. Young, wife Rachel, and daughter, Grace, 3-months.

But Bruno probably won’t be returning to work.

The round is lodged less than an inch from Bruno's heart

The round is lodged less than an inch from Bruno’s heart

Bruno was injured on March 20, when he located a suspect believed to have fired at probation officers. A gang member who had been released from prison 10 days earlier, the suspect opened fire, hitting Bruno in the face. Returning fire, officers killed the suspect.

R.J. Young said without Bruno “there’s no doubt in my mind that either me or somebody else would’ve gotten hurt.”

The round shattered Bruno’s jaw, and damaged part of his lung. X-Rays show just how much devastation the round caused. They also show how the round lodged within an inch of his heart. It was so close to his heart, officials said, that surgeons decided not to remove it.

His story has drawn international attention and millions of views on Facebook and Twitter. This morning, Bruno and the Youngs were featured on the ABC News program, Good Morning America.

Donations to help the Youngs fund Bruno’s long-term health care have flowed into the Friends of the Anaheim Police K-9 Association.

In an interview Thursday, R.J. Young described Bruno as “like a son to me.”

“Each day is better than the last,” R.J. Young said. “He’s like a son to me. Bruno will be with me for the rest of my life.”

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Donations can be made at any US Bank or on its website to the “Friends of the Anaheim Police Canine Association – Bruno Donation Account.” Money is also accepted via PayPal to foak9@hotmail.com.

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