K-9 PYRO UPDATE: Pyro goes home to recover

Photos: Green Bay Police Department

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - K-9 Pyro is home.

Green Bay Police say Pyro returned home with his handler over the weekend after spending nearly a week in a Fox Valley animal hospital.

"Although he still has a lot of recovering and recuperating to do, he has passed his first major hurdle and has been cleared to convalesce at home with his handler and family," reads an update from Green Bay Police.

Pyro lives with Officer Scott Salzmann and his family.

"Because he is still healing, there was no ceremony or pomp and circumstance with him checking out of the Animal Referral Center. Pyro still needs to be kept calm and keep excitement to a minimum, but with all that said you can see how excited he was to get back in his squad car," police said.

The department posted video on Facebook of Pyro leaving the hospital and getting into a squad.

Pyro was stabbed April 7 as officers responded to an armed suspect in the 1300 block of Western Avenue. Police say the suspect, Sai Vang, refused orders to give himself up for arrest. Pyro was deployed and jumped on Sai Vang, who stabbed the dog with a five-inch blade.

"I watched as Sai started violently swing the knife upward, in a stabbing motion, at K-9 Pyro," reads one officer's story detailed in the criminal complaint.

CLICK HERE for full coverage of the criminal complaint.

Pyro was taken to the Fox Valley Animal Referral Center in Appleton. He emergency surgery to repair "multiple soft tissue injuries to his neck and his esophagus."

Pyro received blood and plasma transfusions and a temporary tracheostomy due to a blood clot that was preventing him from breathing. Doctors make a hole in the windpipe and insert a tube to allow the animal to breathe.

Pyro was in recovery last Monday morning when he suffered complications of a twisted stomach and was taken for a second surgery.

It wasn't long before he was sitting and standing on his own power. He's also been able to eat soft food.

The Bark N Blue Foundation has raised about $40,000 for Pyro's long-term recovery.

"We are tremendously grateful for the outpouring of support from the community," police say.

Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith says Pyro's actions likely prevented an officer-involved shooting.