Beloved Anaheim Police K-9 Bruno Dies

"Bruno was a warrior to the end and we will never forget OUR HERO!" a Facebook post announcing the K-9's death says

An Anaheim police K-9 that was shot in the line of duty more than two years ago has died.

Bruno, who was shot by a probationer during a SWAT standoff in March 2014, died just before 6 a.m. Wednesday with his handler by his side, according to a post on the Friends of the Anaheim Police K-9 Association's Facebook page.

"It's with heavy hearts we announce the passing of K-9 Bruno at approximately 0555 hours this morning," the post said.

The Anaheim Police Department said the German Shepherd died of complications from the wounds he suffered in the shooting. When Bruno was shot, a bullet struck and shattered his lower jaw and re-entered his chest, missing his heart by less than an inch and striking a lung.

"He died in line of duty," Officer Mike Dohmann said. "He protected us and the department and my partners. Essentially he deserved everything we did for him."

Bruno underwent emergency surgery Saturday night and was unable to recover. His organs began failing early Wednesday and "the difficult decision was made to end his suffering," police said.

A six-year veteran of the Anaheim Police Department, police K-9 Bruno retired during a special ceremony held at an Anaheim City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 13, 2014. The beloved dog officially retired from service after a nearly two-month-long recovery from being shot while on duty.

A loyal partner to Officer RJ Young, Bruno was credited with protecting the lives of three police officers on the day he was shot.

"These dogs know exactly what you're feeling at all times. These emotions...everything travels down that leash," Dohmann said.

Veterinarians at Yorba Regional Animal Hospital removed half of Bruno's left lung and rebuilt the bottom of his jaw. He had to learn how to eat again.

"You're just used to seeing this big, strong 95-pound meathead of a dog, so to see him kind of down and out like that was the toughest," Young said.

After serving six years with the Anaheim Police Department, Bruno was retired during a ceremony in May 2014.

The injuries ended Bruno's career, but a new life with his family was just beginning.

"He's definitely a full-time baby sitter, that's his thing now," Young said three months after the dog's retirement.

"Bruno was a warrior to the end and we will never forget OUR HERO!" the Facebook post says. "Rest well 26K2; we know you will be vigilantly watching over RJ and the rest of us from Heaven."

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Young and his family had been out of town at a wedding when they learned Bruno had taken a turn. They flew back from the East Coast, but when their plane was delayed in Tuscon, Young drove to the animal hospital and arrived at 4 a.m. Funeral services are pending.

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