Wednesday, August 15, 2007

how sad

Chandler, AZ -- A Chandler police sergeant was placed on leave Tuesday as the department began an investigation into the death of a K-9 dog in his care.

Meanwhile, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office announced it will launch a criminal investigation into the death of the dog that died after being left in a hot patrol car by the handler, Sgt. Tom Lovejoy.

"I take this very seriously," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. "Let's not prejudge the officer. I'm not saying this officer is guilty, but I think it's incumbent for the sheriff to look into it."

Bandit, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, died after Lovejoy, head of the department's K-9 unit, left the dog unattended for more than 12 hours in his patrol car after he returned home Saturday morning from work.

County Attorney Andrew Thomas said Tuesday that it is at least a misdmeanor to leave an animal unattended in a motor vehicle. And depending on the incident, it could be a felony or an animal-cruelty charge.

Chandler police had said Monday that Lovejoy would remain on duty.

Since news of the dog's death was made public Monday, Chandler police have received a large volume of threatening or harassing calls from people angry at the officer.

I also read a letter posted by Officer Lovejoy's wife, Carolyn, in which she said this was a "horrific accident," and she stated how much they loved the dog and how he was a part of their family.
I think people need to remember, we ARE human and we DO forget. I recall reading a story not that long ago about a grandfather who forgot he had his grandchild with him asleep in the back seat of the car and that child died of heat exhaustion. Accidents happen.


SpongyBones said...

Twelve hours is a little long to forget a “member of the family”. I’m not saying execute the man. There should be some consequence, accident or not. I mean when someone makes a poor choice and gets behind the wheel of a car drunk, that’s an accident. No, they didn’t intentionally kill someone, but their actions lead to a death. Not very responsible for someone who is supposed to be watching out for the welfare of us humans …

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Man, I thought those cops and their dogs were tight. Sounds like he went home for a quickie and forgot his little buddy. Not cool at all.

*Goddess* said...

From what I understand he was called home because his son had been in a car accident.

Anonymous said...

Members of my family, animal or not, are brought in the house and left in the backyard for a short time and then back in the house for the night, not left in a car all night long. And why didn't this cop drop the dog off at the station before heading home or even after he made sure his son was ok?

In my mind, there are no accidents only preventable tragedies. This wasn't an accident, this was neglect and carelessness. He should have called someone to come get the dog in another cruiser if he couldn't leave to drive the dog back himself. That's irresponsible. And people who drink and drive never have accidents, because they CHOSE to drink and then drive. They cause deaths with their selfishness and bad choices. I wish people would start taking responsibility for their actions and bad decisions because labelling tragedies like this or drunk driving causing deaths is insulting, degrading and amoral.


Anonymous said...

"...labelling tragedies like this or drunk driving causing deaths..."

I forgot the word 'accidents' after this part of the sentence. Oops. Guess I was too worked up to type correctly.


*Goddess* said...

It was my understanding from the story I read, Stacey--and this is what didn't make any sense to me--that he came HOME and left the dog in the car. Why he didn't let it out of the car immediately, I don't know. Possibly he planned to go somewhere else? I don't know, but I would hope they would have noticed he was missing sooner than 12 hours. Again, though, with my memory at times, I don't want to pass judgment on anyone else.

*Goddess* said...

Yeah, I forgot to mention the dog LIVED with them, that's why not getting it out of the car immediately didn't make sense when I first read it.

Stacey said...

Huh? The dog lived with them and no one bothered to ask where he left the dog for the whole 12 hours? And how small does your department have to be to board the dog at an officer's home instead of the station where he would, presumably, stay and sleep between shifts and active duties??? This doesn't make any sense to me.

How could they forget about feeding, walking or checking on the dog in that time? Doesn't he know that animals need lots of water all day long, and even more than that during hot weather? Doesn't he know that animals need to stretch their legs, especially cooped up large dogs trapped in the back seat of a car???

If he doesn't know or isn't responsible enough, he shouldn't be working in the K-9 unit let alone heading it up IMO.


*Goddess* said...

To my knowledge, most dogs DO live with the officers at home with their families.

But like you said, I didn't get how they didn't notice he wasn't around and hadn't been walked, fed, etc.

*Goddess* said...

I still think there's a lot more to this story that we're just not hearing because A. the man was a Sgt. he wasn't some young officer, just starting out, and B. they'd had the dog for a few years, and they become part of the family quickly. I think something must have seriously diverted their attention, and we're not hearing about all of it.