Heroic Police K9 Survives Being Shot In The Spine

“When A Shootout With An Armed Suspect Goes Bad, Heroic Police Dog Defies All Odds”

Police K9s, like their human counterparts, serve a critical role in keeping the peace and protecting the people.

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Unfortunately, they’re in just as much danger, if not more, than their human counterparts as well.

On January 2021, Thurston County K9 officer, Arlo, was on patrol in a cruiser with his handler as they answered a call about a motor vehicle chase nearby. After the vehicle was stopped, and while heroically trying to apprehend the suspect, things went wrong.

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K9 Arlo suffered two gunshot wounds to the vertebrae and leg. One bullet lodged in near his spine so close that it fractured the bone and required screws to stabilize the spine. Doctors gave Arlo minimal chances of survival, but the hard work of the veterinary surgical crew paid off.

“It is a miracle that Arlo’s still alive,” Dr. Jen Warnock, the surgeon who operated on Arlo, 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.”

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In a relatively unknown county, it may seem strange that Arlo and his story made national news. But Arlo isn’t just a police dog. He’s also a famous TikTok star. Arlo’s social media following continues to grow as more people on online social media get hooked to the very handsome German Shepherd’s content.

K9 Arlo, unfortunately, can’t return to the job he loved. His handler, Tyler Turpin, had to say this about Arlo’s retirement:

“Retirement hasn’t been the easiest for Arlo but he’s trying to get back into the groove. We miss every day we were at work together even though it was a short two years on the road. Big things coming for us though and can’t wait to continue to tell his story.”

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Arlo has swapped jobs as half of a Law Enforcement K9 team and part-time TikTok star, to full-time pet and full-time social media influencer, and he’s doing quite well at both.

Before concluding, it should be noted in transparency that K9 Arlo was a victim of friendly fire. This is being mentioned because some people were upset that this detail wasn’t released immediately by the department. We must all remember those police officers must react fast to threats against their life and don’t have much time to coordinate a plan. It was dark, it was loud, and K9 Arlo was already sent before the suspect produced a firearm. This was a mistake and one that is unfortunately common. The officers were not at fault, the man with the firearm pointing it at the officers was.

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With that said, we’re all happy that Arlo is okay. I think we should end on the words of the man who knows Arlo best:

“Why do I keep telling this story one year later? For one he deserves to tell his story. Two, to give hope to others. To show a story where we both wanted to give up multiple times but because we had a community around us, we didn’t.” – Tyler Turpin

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