You probably don’t give much thought to police dogs in your day-to-day life. We all know that they’re there, but many of us don’t really know how dangerous it can be for a police dog when they’re defending the public.
This incredible story of Bruno the police dog will amaze you. It’s a tale of incredible heroism, certain heartbreak and a heroic and happy ending for both Bruno and his human partner R.J. Young.
So let’s take a moment to acknowledge the incredible sacrifices of the police dogs that help keep our cities safe.
The United States uses K9 (named after the genetic family of dogs canine) units throughout the nation. They operate at every level of policing including the federal, state, county and local levels.
They are used mainly for the sense of smell and assistance in drugs and explosive detection. However, they may also be used to apprehend perpetrators of crime.
Bruno is R.J. Young’s canine partner. Every police dog is paired with a specialist handler. This allows the two to form a useful bond that enables communication between the officer and the dog. Bruno had been on the police force for nearly 6 years when the events took place.
R.J. Young’s team were working to bring down a suspect and there were weapons fired. Bruno was supposed to drag a suspect to the floor and prevent him from fleeing but instead, Bruno was tragically shot by the perpetrator. Nobody there knew if he would live or die.
7. That Bond
R.J. Young told Good Morning America that “it kills me” to see Bruno in distress and that the events of the day had left him incredibly disturbed. He said that when he saw Bruno had been shot “my entire world came crumbling down in the matter of a second.”
6. Hero Dog
Bruno, who is – like most police dogs – a German shepherd, didn’t make a fuss over his injuries. In fact, he returned to R.J. Young and didn’t make a sound even though by this time he was bleeding from the gunshot wounds. It’s more than anyone could expect from a police dog.
5. The Operation
“He never made a sound,” says R.J. Young. “Saving his life was a team effort for sure.” Bruno was given a police escort to the veterinary ER. The team there rushed into action to try and assist Bruno in making a full recovery from his injuries, but was it enough?
4. Regular Visits
Bruno had a bullet lodged in his lung and it needed to be removed in order for the dog to survive. The operation went successfully and Bruno began to recover.
R.J. Young would visit his canine partner regularly over the coming weeks. “Every day was better than the one before,” said R.J.
3. Not Just A Dog
R.J.’s wife told the world that “it’s not just a dog. This dog went with [my husband] everywhere. The dog spends more time with him than I spend with him.”
You can see that a police dog and his handler share an incredible bond and it becomes easy to see why this experience was so traumatic for both of them.
2. The Bad News
The shooting didn’t kill Bruno, and the dog is expected to make a recovery from his wounds soon. However, it did leave Bruno no longer able to serve in his current capacity, and that means Bruno is being drummed out of the police force. What will happen to him now?
1. The Good News
Bruno’s story has a happy ending. He is being adopted! R.J. Young and his wife are going to take Bruno into their family. They are also going to pay his medical expenses for life.
R.J. says, “I know my dog and I know my partner, he won’t let this get the best of him.”
Bruno and R.J. can teach us all something about the importance of trust and loyalty.
The brave police dog laid down his own life for his partner and for the safety of others. It’s heart-warming to know that Bruno will make a recovery.
It’s even better to know that the bond of love between R.J. and Bruno is so strong that R.J. will take Bruno home from the hospital and care for him in the future.
What could have been a story with a heartbreaking ending, has become a story of hope and love.