Internet star K9 Arlo has officially retired from service as a police dog, after being wounded by law enforcement during a high-speed chase incident.
The heroic German Shepherd was well-known to his fans over on TikTok for his bravery and for his funny antics on the social media platform with handler Dep. Tyler Turpin, who set up the account following the dog's enrolment to the Thurston County Sheriff's Office K9 Unit at the end of 2019.
Since then, the account has amassed millions of followers, with fans tuning in to eagerly watch the adorable hound perform dance routines with Turpin and other colleagues from the police department.
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On January 13 2022, however, the K9 was involved in an officer-involved shooting during a vehicle pursuit and was shot twice in the line of duty.
Following the incident, Arlo was left with a bullet lodged near his spine and a gunshot wound to his leg. He received treatment from both Newaukum Valley Veterinary Services in Washington and Oregon State University's Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine, that included eight hours of surgery, and was given a 60 per cent chance of survival.
"It's a miracle that Arlo's still alive," Dr. Jen Warnock, the orthopedic veterinary surgeon who performed the surgery, 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.
Fortunately, the plucky pooch pulled through and received a standing ovation from his fellow officers after his surgery.
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Arlo has since largely recovered from the shooting but, due to the damage to his neck and shoulders, he will not be returning to active duty.
Instead, he was officially adopted by his handler from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office for $1 in a joyous video posted to TikTok to the tune of Chuck Berry's Johnny B Goode.
Sheriff John Snaza said he chose to retire Arlo because he could not be sure the dog could continue as a working K9 without suffering further medical problems.
“It’s just not worth it to the Sheriff’s Office or to the K9 handler or to the community to have a dog in pain all the time, but that dog does want to go to work,” Snaza said.
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Ashleigh is Digital Editor on PetsRadar. With over 8 years of experience in print and digital media, she has acted as an editorial lead on a variety of projects, with animal themes a keen interest. As an avid animal lover, you can often find Ashleigh checking out the newest trends in animal care or looking at cute cat videos on TikTok.