CHINO HILLS (CBSLA.com) — A fundraiser was held in Chino Hills Saturday to help defray medical expenses for Bruno, the K-9 officer who was shot in the face and critically injured last month.
“The support from people and outpouring has been absolutely unbelievable,” said Bruno’s parner, RJ Young.
He added, “K-9 officers put their lives on the line every day and they don’t ask for a thing in return.”
The fundraiser was held at an Applebee’s — it was billed as “Breakfast for Bruno.”
CBS2’s Joy Benedict said several hundred people attended and plunked down the $10 to participate and help the 6-year-old German Shepherd.
All in all, the fundraiser took in more than $3,000. Benedict said the fundraiser wasn’t a hard sell — Bruno’s fans, fellow officers, dog lovers, even a few canines all showed up.
Officer Young is grateful that his partner stepped up for him. And now he wants to return the favor.
“Him being shot saved myself,” Young says, “and three fellow officers who were right there with us. No doubt about it, if Bruno wasn’t there, one of us would have been hurt.”
Since the shooting on March 20, Bruno has had to undergo four surgeries — to repair his broken jaw and a punctured lung.
A local group, “Dog Park For Chino Hills,” organized the fundraiser Saturday.
“Bruno did such a good job protecting police and protecting citizens we’re really happy we can help him,” said Rossanna Mitchell, one of the organizers.
One of the breakfast attendees said, “When someone is in need, we are there to rally behind each other.”
Benedict reported that all of Bruno’s medical expenses are currently being handled by the Anaheim Police Department but when Bruno retires and goes home with his handler, the handler will pay all expenses and that is why fundraisers like this are being held.
“We want to give him the best quality of life,” said Young, “because he’s earned it.”