August 13th, 2007 08:19 PM
Makes me want to cry
I am speechless but I thought I would share my sadness. There is no excuse...Bandit, RIP.
A Chandler police dog that died after his handler left him unattended in a hot patrol car was in the vehicle more than 12 hours before being discovered.
Sgt. Tom Lovejoy discovered the body of Bandit, his 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, about 10 p.m. Saturday night. He parked the car at his home about 9:15 a.m. that day after working an extra duty assignment early Saturday morning, police said.
"When he arrived home, (Lovejoy) was out of his routine. And while getting mixed up in everyday stuff, he forgot about the car," said Sgt. Rick Griner, a Chandler police spokesman.
Griner said that shortly after entering his home, Lovejoy was told his teenage son had been in a car accident and the car was totaled.
Griner did not have information on whether Lovejoy's son was injured, but said the car accident may have distracted Lovejoy - head of the department's K-9 unit - and caused him to forget his dog, who would not have normally been with him on the extra duty shift. The decision was made to include the dog on Lovejoy's patrol given several recent high profile incidents, including the Chandler serial rapist case.
A preliminary investigation shows the dog, who was with the department more than four years, died from extreme heat. This incident is under investigation and will be handled internally, Griner said.
Lovejoy, a 15-year veteran, was not put on leave and returned to work Monday. Griner said no disciplinary action has been taken and will not happen unless an investigation determines the actions were reckless or intentional.
"This is his worst punishment right now. He's very emotional," Griner said. "This incident was because of negligence; by accident."
Russ Hess, executive director of the United States Police Canine Association, said an investigation needed to be completed, but added, "there's no excuse. There sure is a lack of judgment there."
Griner said Lovejoy's family is taking Bandit's death hard. The dog lived with the Lovejoys the entire time he was with the department.
While police dogs that die in the line of duty are usually given high-profile funerals, Griner said the department will likely have a private, memorial service for Bandit.
Two other Valley police departments also lost K-9 earlier this year - one in a similar incident.
In March, a Phoenix police dog was rushed to a veterinarian after being left in an unmarked police vehicle without ventilation. Authorities said the car was idling at the time, but the air-conditioning may have malfunctioned.
The handler and clinic employees decided to euthanize Top, a 5-year-old black Labrador, the following day.
The same month the Mesa Police Department had a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois die while the dog was chasing a suspect after the dog was struck by a vehicle on Main Street near Lindsay Road.
Last edited by SelfDefense; August 13th, 2007 at 08:24 PM.
Reason: Added link
August 13th, 2007 09:19 PM
August 13th, 2007 10:02 PM
You know...I find it interesting. You see it in the news every summer. Somebody leaves a dog in their car and they get NAILED to a tree for it. A cop does it and "This is his worst punishment right now, He's very emotional"...
Granted he had a WHOLE HEAP on his plate already with an extra shift and getting a call about his son being in a car accident so he clearly would have been focusing on that which is a huge factor. I just think it needs to be a 2 way street. Other folks have had similar situations and got their hindquarters nailed for it.
"My God David, We're a Civilized society."
"Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
-The Mist (2007)
August 13th, 2007 10:02 PM
That's a really sad story.
A terrible way for a faithful companion to go.
Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ
August 13th, 2007 10:09 PM
it is a sad story, the fault lies square on the handlers shoulders. But it sounds as if the car was not properly equiped to handle the dog.
August 13th, 2007 10:15 PM
It is a sad time for the officer who lost his partner. Trust me, the loss is far worse punishment than anything else.
August 13th, 2007 11:06 PM
I agree with SIXTO, it sounds as if the car was not set up for the dogs protection. I know that most K-9 units now have temp sensors in the K-9 compartment and when they reach a certain temp, the windows either open or at least open partly for the K-9's safety. If this car had been so equipped, this brave dog may still have been alive today.
That is a very sad story. I am sure he feels terrible.
August 14th, 2007 05:28 PM
It sounds to me that the Chief should desolve the K 9 Unit. If he needs a Police Dog, have him call the County LE Unit. Sad that a LEO can't remember where he left his dog, under any circumstance.
August 15th, 2007 09:56 AM
I don't leave my dog in the car any longer than I am in the car. He comes into where ever I go, or he does not go with me in the car. There is no excuse for this happening, because the dog should have gone into his house with him (or sat in the shade outside), not sat in a car that can easily get 20 to 40 degrees hotter than the outside temperature. Add in the fact that dogs cannot tolerate as high sustained temperatures as humans can. And this guy is in charge of the K-9 unit?!
August 15th, 2007 10:56 AM
I'm certain that nobody feels worse than this officer.
Yes, and likely if events transpired even slightly differently this for sure would not have happened.
Walking into your home and finding out that your son was in a major car crash where the car was totaled and not knowing the exact medical condition of your kid coupled with the fact that the dog normally would not have been with him at that time.
That would be enough to take your mind off of your normal routine.
I would call that highly tragic but, truly extenuating circumstances.
And knowing how much I love my own dog I'm sure this officer is really totally torn up and tortured over the entire affair.
Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ
August 15th, 2007 11:28 AM
This is a very sad story. I feel sorry for the dog and the officer. No matter what other accomplishments he makes in his time on the force, he will always be remembered as the cop who killed his dog.
There’s an old and true, military motto, “Si vis pacem, para bellum” - “If you want peace, prepare for war.”
August 15th, 2007 11:46 AM
This is terrible. I feel so badly for the pooch and the officer. It must be obvious that this guy would probably trade places with his dog if he could. His penance for the mistake is knowing he killed his partner, and I know of no greater tragedy.
I think the fates conspired in this one, what with the cop's son getting in a wreck. He had no way to know if his son was ok. Forgetting isn't excusable, but it is understandable. I say cut the guy some slack.
RIP Bandit, and thanks for duty served.
A man in the hands of his enemies is flesh, and shudderingly vulnerable. - author unknown
August 22nd, 2007 03:12 PM
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
August 22nd, 2007 03:27 PM
i don't get it.. so if he would have had a baby in the car would he have left that as well?
citizens get hung by there toe nails for incidences like this. As well as the negligent officer killing a snake in a tree with a 9mm without knowing what was behind him.
it is time in this day and age that excuses are thrown out the window.
i am sure that he may be a good guy and cop, but law is law. Or is it?
August 22nd, 2007 03:40 PM
Well said QK. Anyone wonder why I cringe when I hear somebody say my brain/finger is my safety?
Originally Posted by QKShooter
I'm too young to be this old!
Getting old isn't good for you!
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