K-9 Officer Jerry Lee with the Austell Police Department in Austell, Georgia, showed up for duty Sunday on what would prove to be his last day of work.
He and his handler, Officer Reeves, arrived at a scene where a suspect had fled on foot and was hiding in the woods. Jerry Lee was sent in to track the man, and as he pursued, the dog was shot in the leg.
“Douglasville requested K9 assistance from the Austell Police Department,” the Douglasville Police Department said in a news release. “After the tracking began, the suspect shot the Austell K9.
“A perimeter was set up. A single gunshot was heard from the woods. The suspect was located behind Hooters, given medical attention, and is deceased.”
From that moment on, the K-9’s life was in the balance.
“Ofc. Reeves spending some time with Jerry Lee,” the Austell Police Department shared on Monday. “He’s headed to surgery now. Please pray for a good outcome with the procedure.
“Not the best diagnosis, but we know this hero can pull through and recover 100%. Thank you for the outpouring of love and support.”
As soon as people heard what had happened to Jerry Lee, they wanted to know how to help. An official fundraiser was started through the Georgia Police K9 Foundation.
“K9 Jerry Lee was transported and given proper medical care,” it wrote. “K9 Jerry Lee underwent surgery and has a long road of recovery ahead. He is currently at home resting and recovering with his handler.”
Since the surgery, the Austell Police Department has kept people updated on the K-9‘s condition.
Donations of money and supplies have poured in, and Jerry Lee has even been the recipient of some artwork to celebrate his bravery.
“Ofc. Reeves is so glad to have his partner going home!” the department posted, along with a video of the K-9 going home from the veterinarian’s office with his handler. “Jerry Lee has a long hard road to go but so happy to see his person!”
Jerry Lee has a cast around his shoulder and leg but is getting plenty of rest and attention.
While his condition means he can no longer be a police dog, according to WXIA-TV, his handler has reassured people that he will be living a “life of luxury.”
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