K9 Officer Arlo, a 3-year-old German shepherd with the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit, joined the unit at the end of 2019.
In just over a year, Arlo had gained hundreds of thousands of followers on his TikTok account run by his handler, Dep. Tyler Turpin.
Soon afterward, Arlo was transported by a local off-duty firefighter to Oregon State University’s Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine, where his second bullet wound — near Arlo’s spine — was treated, authorities said.
“It’s a miracle that Arlo’s still alive,” Dr. Jen Warnock, an orthopedic veterinary surgeon, said in a statement. “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.”
Before doctors performed surgery Friday morning, they estimated Arlo had a 60% chance of survival. During the eight-hour procedure, they fused his C6 and C7 vertebrae and worked to fix his soft tissue damage, authorities said.
Officers also met him at his home with a “Welcome Home Arlo” sign in the yard.
The TikTok clip had more than 33.7 million views as of Tuesday evening, after being posted Monday. Arlo has also gained more than 1.3 million followers.
According to authorities, Arlo will not be returning to active duty because of his injuries. However, K9 handlers are given the first opportunity to buy and keep their dogs as pets.
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