A Sacramento County Sheriff's Department police dog is in good shape after being shot in the chest Friday morning while chasing a suspected car thief.

Drago, a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois, was pursuing the suspect when the man fired eight shots in the dark, hitting the dog once.

"The first thing in my mind was 'Oh my God I lost my partner,'" Deputy John Halk, who's been assigned to Drago, told NBC News.

The bullet partially collapsed Drago's lung, but it missed other vital organs. "It was a through-and-through wound from chest to shoulder,” said sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa Bowman. "He's a very lucky dog. He did not require surgery. It may be only a matter of weeks before he is back to work."

The suspect died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Learn more about Drago in the video below and watch the police force welcome him back after he leaves the hospital:

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Laura Moss writes about a variety of topics with a focus on animals, science, language and culture. But she mostly writes about cats.

Police dog survives bullet wound to chest
The Belgian Malinois was shot once while chasing a fleeing suspect.