Vet working tirelessly to save police dog shot in Northland

A police dog is in stable condition after taking a bullet to the head on Tuesday.

The German Sheppard was flown to a specialist Vet Hospital after it was injured during a police shootout near Dargaville. 

A vet surgeon and his team have been working on saving the animal for 33 hours and counting.

He's still in serious condition - but stable. 

"He's stable at the moment but definitely not out of the woods," veterinary specialists surgeon Dr Alastair Coomer told Newshub.

"He's got a long journey ahead of him."

The Police dog was shot on Tuesday morning when officers responded to a sighting of a wanted man in Tangowahine Valley Road near Dargaville.

Several shots were exchanged between the alleged offender and the arriving officers and the dog took a bullet to the head. 

Dr Coomer said the dog's handler was with him the whole time following the incident.

"The handler is really devoted to his dog," Dr Coomer said. "They're going through a recovery journey together."

"It's pretty standard lifesaving triage... getting him stabilised and keeping him alive and letting his body do the rest.

"He's a pretty good healer."

Dr Coomer's no stranger to saving canine members of the force.

In 2013 German Shepherd 'Gus' was stabbed in the lung but pulled through thanks to him.

"I thought oh no not again, I've been through this before," he said.

"I think we in the vet industry respect the human-animal bond... This is the apex of that."

The man who unleashed the attack on police and the dog remains in a stable condition in Auckland Hospital after he was shot three times. 

Northland's District Commander Tony Hill says charges are yet to be laid.