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A dog who was shot three times when he went to his familyâ€™s rescue during a home-invasion robbery in the Hollywood Hills is lucky to be alive, said the veterinarian who performed emergency surgery on the boxer-Weimaraner mix.
Five-year-old Aslan was shot Wednesday when three suspects forced their way into the home in the 8200 block of Mannix Drive and demanded a male resident open a safe, from which they stole a large quantity of cash, officials said.
The intruders shot the man in the neck, and when his dog confronted them, they shot the animal in the neck, shoulder and leg, said Lt. Bob Binder of the LAPD’s Hollywood Division. The man is in stable condition, Binder said. The suspects — three men and a woman — fled on foot and were later arrested.
Narcotics detectives were called to the home Wednesday night after police uncovered evidence during the robbery investigation, Binder said. A search warrant was issued on the residence. Binder would not say what evidence was found.
Aslan suffered life-threatening wounds, said Stephen Bilbrey, a veterinary surgeon at the Animal Specialty Group, an animal hospital in Los Angeles.
One bullet struck Aslan in the leg, fracturing it. Another bullet went through the dog’s left shoulder. A third bullet went through the animal’s neck and across its chest, puncturing its lungs and diaphragm and lodging in its liver.
Bilbrey performed a two-hour surgery that included removing part of the dogâ€™s lungs and extracting the bullet from its liver.
â€œHeâ€™s been doing pretty darn well,â€ Bilbrey said. â€œIf the bullet had hit one of his major structures, he would have been dead within minutes.â€
Bilbrey said the dog is expected to make a full recovery. It is currently resting at the hospital with a pink cast on its leg.
â€œThe owner did tell me that the dog alerted them that people were breaking into their home,â€ Bilbrey said. â€œShe felt the dog saved their lives.â€