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Dog who intervened to save owners during violent robbery to recover from gunshot wounds

December 17, 2009 |  5:51 pm


A family dog is being credited with helping to save the lives of his human family when they were threatened during a violent home-invasion robbery in the Hollywood Hills on Wednesday. 

Aslan, a 5-year-old boxer mix, apparently alerted his owners to the invasion and later intervened when one of them was shot during the robbery. Unfortunately, his heroic efforts were met with gunfire; he sustained life-threatening wounds after being shot in the neck, leg and shoulder. 

Aslan's injured owner was taken in stable condition to a nearby hospital where he was treated for a gunshot wound to the neck; his wife and infant child were unharmed. Meanwhile, the dog was taken to area veterinary hospital the Animal Specialty Group. According to veterinary surgeon Stephen Bilbrey, the dog is expected to make a full recovery after two hours of emergency surgery. 

To save Aslan's life, Bilbrey had to remove a portion of his lungs and extract a bullet from his liver, L.A. Now reports today.  But, all things considered, Aslan (who's named for another heroic animal, the lion from C.S. Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia" series) has been doing "pretty darn well," Bilbrey said. "If the bullet had hit one of his major structures, he would have been dead within minutes."

Four suspects were arrested Wednesday. According to L.A. Now, evidence discovered by police during the robbery investigation led to a search warrant being issued and narcotics detectives being dispatched to a home in the 8200 block of Mannix Drive. Lt. Bob Binder of the LAPD's Hollywood Division did not comment on the nature of the evidence discovered.

"I spoke very briefly to the owner," Bilbrey told NBC Los Angeles. "And she basically said this dog saved their lives. He woke them up, alerted them that someone was there. I think in this instance, the dog confronted these individuals and probably was going after them."

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Aslan naps at the Animal Specialty Group Thursday. Photo credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

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