K9 Officer Drago got to home Saturday morning after getting treatment for a gunshot wound.
SACRAMENTO, CA - Sheriff's K9 Drago was released from the veterinarian's hospital Saturday morning after getting shot Friday.
Drago was chasing suspected car thief Robby Joe Wolff, 42, in a field near Elverta Road around 4:11 a.m., Sacramento County Sheriff's Sgt. Lisa Bowman said. During the chase, Wolff fired eight rounds and continued to run from deputies.
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A bullet hit Drago, passing through his chest and exiting out his shoulder. Fortunately, the bullet did not hit any vital organs. As soon as Drago's handler Deputy John Halk heard the shot, he feared the worst.
"I was terrified. Oh my God, I lost my partner," Halk said. "He fell, dropped, and then he got back up."
Bowman said Drago was taken to an emergency vet hospital to get treatment for non-life threatening injuries. By Friday evening, Drago was showing signs of recovery.
On Saturday, Drago got the celebrity treatment at the hospital before his release, surrounded by officers and supporters. Halk was there to pick up his partner. Bowman said Drago was excited to get out of the hospital.
"Fortunately, Drago suffered a single gunshot wound that penetrated through the area of his clavicle. It seems to have gone under the scapula, which is the shoulder blade bone and then penetrated out the right side of his chest," Drago's vet Dr. Chris Wong said. "Just mild bleeding, mild shock."
Wolff was eventually found by a heat recognition sensor on a law enforcement helicopter Friday morning. When deputies approached him, they saw Wolff was injured by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was taken to the hospital, where he died of his injuries.
The Sacramento County Coroner's Office released Wolff's identity Saturday morning. Bowman said detectives confirmed that Wolff was "the suspect responsible for shooting Sacramento Sheriff K9-Drago."
Since the shooting Friday, Drago has been more up than out, and the attention he's getting is enough to make any tail wag.
"I think he is very lucky, and so are all the officers that he helped protect," Wong said.
Since then, Drago has been more up than out, and the attention he's getting is enough to make any tail wag.
"I think he is very lucky, and so are all the officers that he helped protect," Drago's vet, Dr. Chris Wong said.
News of Drago's recovery came as a relief to all the members of the K9 unit.
"In 2009, I lost a dog in the line of duty, so this kind of touched home with me," K9 handler Anthony Jenkins said. "It's kind of an unexplainable feeling. The dogs are partners at work. We're very close to them."
"His spirit's amazing," Wong added."He's a great dog, full of heart, full of energy, and his handler is quite pleased as well."
Drago is expected to make a full recovery, just not quite as soon as he might like.
"The day of the shooting he was ready to go back out after he got a little bit of pain medication, he was like, 'let's go,'" Halk said.
Drago will undergo four weeks of physical rehabilitation, and he's already started working with a specialist. Once he's recovered, Drago's vet said he'll be able to return to duty.