Meanwhile, the man who shot the dog, was found hours later with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head and has been taken to a hospital, according to Sheriff's department spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa Bowman.
The incident began around 5:30 a.m. when Sacramento police began the pursuit of a driver in a stolen vehicle. Police were assisted in the chase by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.
The suspect stopped the vehicle and ran into a field near 16th Street and Kasser Road in the Elverta area. The suspect fired eight rounds, hitting Drago, a Sacramento County Sheriff's Department police dog.
No officers were hit. Law enforcement personnel then surrounded the field and a helicopter searched the area.
The dog was taken to the veterinarian for treatment of a non life-threatening gunshot wound that went through his chest and out his shoulder. No vital organs were hit, according to Bowman.
The six-year-old Belgian Malinois dog has been assigned to Deputy John Halk for at least a year.
Deputies approached the man who was down in the field about 8 a.m. Deputies first gave commands to the suspect and then non-lethal rounds were fired.
However, there was no response. A police dog was deployed and deputies moved in, only to find that the man had a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
"It was not immediately noticeable because of his dark clothing and the position of his body," said Bowman. "Once they were close enough to determine that medical issue, an ambulance that had been standing by transported him to a hospital."
Bowman said the suspect "had signs of life," but an update on his condition was not available.
PHOTO CREDIT: Drago, a Belgian Malinois, is comforted by his handler, Deputy John Halk, at a veterinary hospital this morning. His foot is bandaged where an intravenous tube was placed. The dog was hit by a shot fired by a fleeing suspect this morning in the Elverta area. He was hit by a slug that went through his chest and out his shoulder. Photo courtesy of Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.