When it comes to TikTok stars, few are as fierce yet adorable as Arlo.
Arlo is a 3-year-old German shepherd who joined the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office in Washington about a year ago as their newest K-9 officer.
His handler, Deputy Tyler Turpin, often shares videos of Arlo on the job and off. Together, they’ve amassed a fan base of more than 2 million, and it’s easy to understand the appeal!
Sgt. Rod Ditrich, the department’s K-9 unit supervisor, described Arlo as “an amazing dog” and added, “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.”
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The pup seems to have been made for the job, but tragedy struck one night as he and his fellow officers engaged in a car chase with an armed driver. When they apprehended the suspect, the man opened fire, injuring Arlo severely. The brave dog was immediately rushed into emergency surgery.
Arlo took a few bullets, which hit him in the leg, shoulder, and neck. One missed his knee by less than a centimeter, narrowly avoiding the need for amputation. Another got lodged near his spine and required a second surgery to remove it. He was sent to Oregon for his operation, which left him with six screws in his neck and bullet fragments that will be there forever.
“It’s a miracle that Arlo’s still alive,” said Dr. Jen Warnock, who operated on him. “The bullet missed an artery that would’ve killed him by a millimeter. It could’ve destroyed his carotid artery.”
When he was finally ready to go home, Arlo’s brothers and sisters in blue wanted to show him just how much they appreciate his service. As he was released from the hospital, dozens of officers lined up to give him a true hero’s welcome.
Not only that, but Arlo also got a full police escort with lights and sirens all the way home!
“When Deputy Turpin and K-9 Arlo arrived home, they were greeted by neighbors, friends, firefighters, fellow K-9 handlers from multiple organizations from local and surrounding counties, and a multitude of law enforcement officers from all local agencies and surrounding county and police agencies,” the sheriff’s department wrote in a statement. “It was quite humbling! Arlo is currently at home resting with his family.”
The courageous canine is being showered with love and is expected to make a full recovery! Sadly, his days as a K-9 officer are over because he will likely have arthritis, but something tells us that he’ll love his life of leisure just as much. What a good, heroic boy!
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