Gordo the Dog Steals L.A.'s Heart

See our latest: Gordo the Dog's Leg Is Likely Saved

Updated at the bottom with the suspects' identities and more.

Gordo, a fluffy white Maltese dog, stole L.A.'s heart over night after he was hit by a van being chased by police in South Los Angeles. The canine was receiving emergency care this morning.

Cops started chasing a white Chevrolet Astrovan about 8 p.m. near LAX, apparently after discovering that the vehicle was allegedly stolen, according to reports.

The pursuit led to South Los Angeles, often focusing in the area of Manchester Avenue, and appeared to go in circles at times as a suspect sped with no lights, drove on sidewalks, made U-turns, and engaged in other apparently dangerous driving:

The van appeared to move so recklessly and unpredictably that cops held back and let a helicopter track the vehicle during some stretches of the chase.

At about 9:06 p.m., while on a side street, the old Chevy struck a white fluffy ball of an object, which later we learned was Gordo.

The pursuit came to an end minutes after that when a California Highway Patrol cruisers twice initiated spin-inducing PIT maneuvers, the second of which ended with the vehicle cornered by patrol cars.

Two suspects inside, a male and female, were taken into custody. But the conversation on Twitter soon turned to the well-being of Gordo.

Gordo is a Spanish word that means fat or chunky.

NBC Los Angeles reporter Robert Kovacik said the pooch was taken to a veterinarian, reportedly in Culver City, where he was receiving fluids.

Serene Branson of CBS Los Angeles said vets might have to amputate one of the dog's legs but that otherwise it appeared he would survive.

Publicist Kelsey Duckett said concerned dog lovers could help pay for Gordo's hospital stay by contributing via this website.

[Update at 12:53 p.m.]: The CHP says it picked the pursuit up from the Los Angeles Police Department and the L.A. County Sheriff's Department at 8:55 p.m.

The CHP ID's the suspects as 21-year-old Yovany Ervin Rodriguez of L.A., said to the be the driver, and 26-year-old Gwendi Yarubi Valenton of Bakersfield, said to be the passenger.

Both were booked on suspicion of "unlawful taking of a vehicle," the agency said.

City of Angels Animal Hospital in Culver City told us there was no update on the dog's condition. 

With reporting from City News Service. Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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