K-9 Awarded 'Purple Heart' for Taking a Bullet Meant for Human Partner

Casper the K-9 took one for the team during a shootout with a fugitive.

A German shepherd K-9 deputy in Florida has been awarded a medal of high honor for taking a bullet intended for his fellow human officers.

The U.S. Marshals Service bestowed a "purple heart" upon Carter, a four-legged member of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office that was shot in the hip during a gun battle with an armed robbery suspect earlier this year.

"Best way to explain, it's like another one of my kids," said the dog's partner, Deputy John Sylvester, at Wednesday's ceremony.
"When the rounds came, it was meant for a group of us. Unfortunately, he was the one who took the round."

The police department wrote on Twitter, "This heroic furry friend has won the hearts of many."

Casper seemed to enjoy the proceedings. He constantly wagged his tail and his thick pink tongue lolled from the side of his mouth.

He was part of the May pursuit of robbery suspect Phillip O'Shea, who robbed a bar at 4 a.m. and led authorities in a high-speed chase that ended when the man's car crashed. A shootout followed, with O'Shea eventually carjacking a female driver and fleeing in her vehicle.

Later that day, O'Shea was spotted in Jupiter, where he was killed in a second gun battle with authorities. 

Casper was hit in the haunches and underwent surgery.

He is now fully recovered.