TikTok Video of Police Dog Arlo Returning Home After Shooting Viewed 41 Million Times

A police dog who has more than 1.5 million social media fans has been released from hospital in Washington after being shot twice in the line of duty.

Arlo, of the Thurston County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit, was injured during a vehicle pursuit on January 13.

The 3-year-old German shepherd was left with a bullet lodged near his spine and a gunshot wound to his leg. The K-9 was taken to Newaukum Valley Veterinary Services in Chehalis, Washington, for treatment before having eight hours of surgery at Oregon State University's Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine.

Ahead of the operation on Friday morning, doctors gave Arlo a 60 percent chance of survival.

"It's a miracle that Arlo's still alive," Dr. Jen Warnock, the orthopedic veterinary surgeon who repaired the bone damage to Arlo's vertebrae, 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.

"He's unlucky but lucky at the same time."

Arlo, who joined the K-9 unit in 2019, has more than 1.5 million followers on TikTok and a further 67,000 followers on Instagram.

A video of the dog leaving Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine after his surgery—with an honor guard formed by fellow officers—has been viewed more than 41 million times.

Because of the damage to his neck and shoulders, Arlo will likely have arthritis, meaning he will not be returning to active duty.

During the surgery, doctors had fused Arlo's C6 and C7 vertebrae with six screws and surgical cement.

The bullet near his spine had also mushroomed inside his body and dragged hair, dirt and debris deep into the tissue, meaning surgeons had to clean carefully to minimize the risk of infection.

"The shoulder that had all the bullet damage is the weakest," Warnock said. "He's still weak, but he's improving by leaps and bounds."

The K-9 unit at Thurston County is funded entirely through community donations. A GoFundMe page to help pay Arlo's medical bills has raised more than $73,000.

"He's an amazing dog. He's just so enthusiastic and he's one of our most vocal, energetic dogs that we've got — he just is always happy, wants to please, just an amazing animal. Super easy to train," said Thurston County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit supervisor Sgt. Rod Ditrich.

"He lives for the job—all he wants to do is please Deputy Turpin and perform the job of a police K-9."

K-9 Officer Arlo
K-9 Officer Arlo has returned home after being treated for two bullet wounds suffered in a police chase in Washington. Oregon State University’s Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine