GREEN BAY, Wis. - A Wisconsin K-9 named Pyro received thousands of well-wishes and support on social media for a speedy recovery after being stabbed multiple times in the neck while taking down an armed suspect.
Green Bay police said around 8:19 p.m. Sunday they responded to a 911 call where a suspect was threatening to kill his father. A BearCat as well as K-9 officers also responded to the scene.
Pyro, an almost 3-year-old Malinois, attempted to take down the suspect and during the struggle was stabbed repeatedly in the neck. An officer found an opportunity to tase the suspect and took him into custody.
Immediately after the arrest, authorities noticed Pyro bleeding, treated his wounds and placed him in the BearCat, where he was then rushed to an animal hospital.
Veterinary critical care specialists and a support team determined Pyro needed emergency surgery to repair multiple soft tissue injuries to his neck and throat. He also received blood and plasma transfusions and a temporary tracheotomy.
After Pyro came to from the anesthesia, the police department said he had to undergo another emergency surgery because his stomach became twisted during the first procedure.
He was then placed in an intensive care unit where he is listed in critical but stable condition.
“(Pyro’s) veterinarian says that the next 24 hours will be critical. It is hoped that if he continues to recover that he may return home to continue recovering with his handler and family,” the department said in a Facebook post Monday.
On Tuesday, the department provided another update and said Pyro was walking on his own. His partner, Officer Scott Salzmann, as well as other Green Bay police K-9 officers took Pyro on short walks to help him build his strength.
"His improvement over the past 24 hours was a big first step for him and we have been told his personality is starting to come back. While Pyro still has a ways to go, he appears to be responding well to his treatment thus far which is a testament to his toughness and will," the department said in a press release.
The city's mayor, Jim Schmitt, also tweeted out that he awarded Pyro the key to the city.
"In 16 years of service, I've never given a key to the city to a canine before. Well deserved, Pyro!" he said.
In 16 years of service, I’ve never given a key to the City to a canine before. Well deserved, Pyro! pic.twitter.com/6MFDXqTpgN— Jim Schmitt (@GBJimSchmitt) April 9, 2019
Since the news broke of Pyro’s condition, thousands of people on social media have responded and asked to help the K-9 with medical bills and any other recovery care he might need.
A Facebook fundraiser reached more than $32,000, surpassing its goal of $30,000. If you would still like to donate, you may do so by clicking here.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.