Most stories you read on the internet about a police officer and his K9 partner are about the dog coming to their human partner’s rescue but in this case, officer R.J. Young really stepped up for his canine partner Bruno after he was tragically gunned down while on duty. It was clear from the get-go that Officer Young and Bruno shared a special bond, and most cops will tell you that the police are nothing without their canine pals. In this case, it was that bond that brought these two through hell — click through to read their amazing, heartbreaking story.
A Little Bit About K9 Units Before We Get Started …
The K9 unit operates in the United States at all levels whether it’s federal, state, county or even a local level. Often, K9 dogs are used to sniff out bombs or drugs.
Dogs Like Bruno Are Down For Dangerous Work
In this dangerous line of work, dogs are trained to be in life-threatening situations. Bruno, pictured here, is one such dog, who takes risks every day to keep people safe.
Bruno And R.J.’s Special Bond
From the very beginning, Bruno was R.J. Young’s loyal canine partner. There’s a special bond that happens in this kind of partnership as each dog from the K9 unit is placed with an officer.
R.J. And Bruno Had A Connection From The Start
The bond between R.J. and Bruno is incredibly important as they handle daily tasks in their unit. Most importantly, their bond is heavily relied upon for communication.
Bruno And R.J. Had Some History
When that fateful day happened for Bruno and R.J., they had been paired together for six years which explains the way Young responded when his pooch partner was in danger.
The Whole Team Was Present
At the time, R.J. and his team were working in an effort to take down a dangerous suspect. Originally, the team was supposed to simply capture the suspect, but no one could expect what actually happened …
Shots Rang Out
Though it was supposed to be routine, the suspect started shooting. Bruno got caught in the crossfire and was shot by the suspect in question.
Bruno’s Team Was There For Him
After Bruno was tragically shot, R.J. rushed to his partner’s side. He had no idea whether or not Bruno would survive his terrible injury.
Young Couldn’t Handle Bruno’s Pain
Young took Bruno’s injury personally because of how close they were. When Young spoke with Good Morning America, he said it “killed” him to see his partner in pain.
But Bruno Stayed Calm Throughout It All
Bruno struggled through his injury like a champ, even though the outcome was uncertain at that point. R.J. was taking the shooting pretty hard, but Bruno barely made a peep.
Bruno’s Injury Was Severe
Despite Bruno handling the injury like a pro, the dog was severely hurt and was bleeding profusely from the multiple gunshot wounds he took to his body.
Above And Beyond The Call
For those on the scene who witnessed Bruno’s bravery, it’s said that his disposition went above and beyond of what’s expected from a K9 dog.
Bruno Received The Best Care Possible
It Was A Team Effort
Of saving his life, Young said that it was a “team effort.” While Bruno definitely benefitted from having the whole team to his aid, was it enough to save his life?
Bruno Needed Surgery
One wouldn’t expect so given his injuries. Bruno was shot in the lung and had a bullet lodged there. To survive his wounds, he would need surgery to remove the bullet.
The Surgery Was A Success
To the relief of his partner, R.J., the surgery was a success and Bruno was on his way to recovery. The pooch remained in the hospital for a few weeks so he could rest. But that’s not the end of Bruno’s incredible tale …
R.J. Visited Bruno Every Day
As for the team, it was R.J. who came to visit his K-9 partner in the hospital for weeks on end. Of his time spent with Bruno in the hospital, he said, “Every day was better than the one before.”
R.J.’s Wife Knows His Bond With Bruno Is Strong
R.J. Young wasn’t the only one in pain seeing Bruno suffer. Despite being on the mend, Young’s wife told reporters that this bond went above anything else.
Bruno Wasn’t Just A Dog
According to R.J.’s wife, Bruno meant the world to him. “It’s not just a dog,” she said. “This dog went with my husband everywhere. The dog spends more time with him than I spent with him.”
Bruno Was Pulled From Work For Good
With Bruno’s slow and steady recovery came some unfortunate news. While he did survive that fateful day, he would never able to go back on the force. What was going to happen to him?
Bruno Finds A Home
Despite all of the physical pain Bruno had to go through, his story had a happy ending. Not only did he survive that horrible day, but he found a permanent loving home. Believe it or not, you already know who adopted him!
The Young Family Adopt Bruno
His former partner R.J. Young and his wife decided that the best thing for Bruno’s future was a home with their family. The family paid for all of his medical expenses, too!
Bruno Was In Good Spirits
Of his former pooch turned loving pet, R.J. said, “I know my dog and I know my partner, he won’t let this get the best of him.” Despite a seemingly happy ending, Bruno wasn’t out of the woods yet. What happened next was completely heartbreaking.
Complications From That Day Arose
Two years after his 2014 shooting, Bruno died of complications stemming from that tragic day. When his organs began to shut down, the Youngs decided to end his life so he could rest easy.
Bruno Didn’t Die Alone
While this is a tragic end, Bruno didn’t die alone. His former team was by his side as he was put to sleep. According to a police spokesperson, “All of the K-9 handlers were there for him. There was a good group of people around him.”