He took a bullet to the chest in a shooting that wounded two Boise, Idaho, police officers last week. Now, Jardo the K9 officer is on the road to recovery, thanks to blood donations from two dogs who came to his aid when he needed it most.
According to KBOI 2 News, who first reported the story, a 6-year-old golden retriever named Myles and a 5-year-old pit bull named Cricket each donated blood that helped save Jardo’s life.
Jardo was shot by an armed suspect as officers were trying to apprehend him Friday afternoon in a Boise neighborhood, according to a Facebook post on the Boise Police K-9 page.
Veterinary surgeon John Chandler, from WestVet 24 Hour Animal Emergency & Specialty Center, performed the dog’s chest surgery along with surgeon Dr. Katy Campbell and two other doctors. Chandler tells PEOPLE that Jardo was suffering from significant blood loss when he arrived.
“Jardo was both anemic and hemodynamically unstable upon arrival at WestVet,” he says in an email. “Jardo received about 3/4 liter of blood from two different donors.”
One of the units was donated a day or two prior to the shooting; the second unit, which came from Myles, who was “at work” with his owner, was drawn that day at the center and immediately transfused, Chandler says.
During surgery they removed about 40 percent of Jardo’s total lung mass. “We know that dogs can survive 50 percent loss of total lung volume, and that removal of an entire left lung (such as in Jardo) is tolerated well if the right lung is healthy,” Chandler says.
Given everything he has been through, Jardo is obviously a hero — but so are Cricket and Myles. “Dog blood donors enable veterinarians to save lives during surgeries and procedures,” Chandler tells PEOPLE. “Their contribution literally makes all the difference with critically ill patients.”
Jardo has been ordered to rest for the next four weeks, then return to light duty (such as drug detection) for four weeks. The pup should be able to return to full duty in eight weeks time, Chandler says.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for one of the officers critically injured in the shooting. In just two days, over $51,000 has been raised.