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K-9 Left in Handler's Car Found Dead

August 13, 2007  | 

A Chandler, Ariz., K-9 handler found his dog dead in his vehicle after leaving him there following the end of his shift.

According to the department, Sgt. Tom Lovejoy parked his car at home and didn't realize he'd left the dog in the car until he found him dead later that day. Bandit, a Belgian Malinois, appears to have died because of the extreme heat.

The Chandler Police Department is investigating the incident.

Tags: Chandler PD, K-9 Units


Comments (18)

Displaying 1 - 18 of 18

wolfva @ 8/13/2007 9:25 PM

How in the name of all that is good and holy do you forget your DOG in the back of the car??? Heck, does this guy have kids? Or has he lost all of them to?

brj1973 @ 8/16/2007 7:52 PM

As a supervisor and a K-9 handler he should know better. The agency might want to direct him to a fit for duty test. A K-9 handler would never forget his partner. I wouldn't let him be a supervisor anymore and I wouldn't let him have a dog again. Maybe he can become the associate instructor for taking care of your new K-9 partner.

Jeff Treu @ 8/16/2007 9:50 PM

What an idiot. As a K-9 handler of many years this just sickens me. Would the guy leave his human partner in the car to die. What a senseless waste of taxpayer money, and a cruel and totally unresponsible ack.

RA16309928 @ 8/16/2007 10:52 PM

As a retired Police Officer and a one time K-9 Officer, I firmly believe that this Sgt Lovejoy should at least lose his rank as Sergeant, he has demonstrated a very poor example of leadership. My preference would be to terminate him from the job.

Dan Prohonic @ 8/17/2007 12:22 AM

I just can't believe,that somebody could be that irresponsible.There is no excuse for that kind of negligence.Can this Clown,Bandit was his partner.I know most officers probably won't agree with me,but i think the Sgt.should be prosecuted.I can't imagine anyone being that stupid or wrapped up in their own petty life that they could kill their dog that way.

Forensic @ 8/17/2007 12:22 AM

Unbelievable....this is absolutely outrageous and inexcusable. They need to dismiss him outright and this "officer" needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

lillyofsisk @ 8/17/2007 2:16 AM

I agree! I feel so sorry for Bandit. That is a horid way to die.

kwscotch @ 8/17/2007 4:42 AM

While I agree the handler is ultimately responsible for his K-9 partner since the K-9 is not able to release himself from the vehicle. I question the leadership of this department located in an area of the country known to have remperature extremes for not requiring some type of K-9 thermal protection system. There are several different options on the market to help reduce the temperature in the vehicle from one that simply lowers the windows in the patrol vehicle to those as advances as ones that do the above, start ventilation fans and sound the horn or siren of the patrol vehicle when the inside temperature reaches a preset point. Our K-9 officer while only dogs are highly motivated and trained L.E.O.'s and as valuable as any other officer.

Don't misunderstand that I am not symapthetic to the officer on the death of his K-9, having lost dogs in the past thru natural causes, I know how strong the bond between the K-9 and his handler are, I really feel that this was a very preventable L.O.D.D.

palidin1 @ 8/17/2007 5:34 AM


This Sgt. shuold be demoted and removed from the K-9 unit. How could you leave your partner in a car in that heat.

TITO1965 @ 8/17/2007 8:16 AM

I AM A K9 HANDLER MYSELF AND I DON'T CONDONE WHAT THIS OFFICER DID BUT WE DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS OFFICER WAS DOING BEFOR HE GOT HOME OR IF HE WAS UNDER SOMKIND OF STRESS ALL I KNOW IS THAT THIS OFFICER MUST BE FEELING REALY BAD ABOUT HIMSELF BECOUSE HE JUST LOST AND ALSO CONTRIBUTED TO THE DEATH OF HIS PARTNER .?!!

TITO1965 @ 8/17/2007 8:31 AM

I AM A K9 HANDLER AND ONE THING THIS OFFICER HAS TO LIVE WITH IS TH FACT THAT HE WAS THE ONE THAT COUSED THE DEATH OF HIS K9 PARTNER.

ags3e @ 8/17/2007 12:41 PM

Tragic! Even though the Sgt involved will have to live with this forever, it is still inexcusable. At the very least he should lose his right as a K9 Officer, but should probably be demoted.

TRMyhre @ 8/17/2007 5:19 PM

Terminate and prosecute. Period.

xtremedeputy @ 8/17/2007 8:27 PM

Truly unreal!!! How do you forget about your life line? Better yet, how do you forget about a partner that would put it's life on the line for you every time you step out of your car. He needs to be atleast charged with anmial cruelity!!! Let IA do their job from there. I'm a K-9 Handler that loves his partner!!!

wina @ 8/18/2007 2:55 AM

We as K-9 Officers are very vocal in getting laws passed that makes assault on our K-9 partners the same offense as assault on our person. By the same logic then the officer should be considered as causing negligent injury to another officer. If we trivialize and ignore this then how can we then expect the public to support us when we charge a suspect with assault on a Police K-9.

Young7667 @ 8/18/2007 1:23 PM

I live near Chandler. This officer had just come off of a double shift and been informed his son had been involved in a serious auto accident. These facts don't excuse the incident but they do help explain it.

gcarrier @ 8/19/2007 2:15 PM

It all goes back to the academy days "Pay attention to detail." He is responsible for his PARNTER's death, prosecute this idiot.

TITO1965 @ 8/20/2007 1:15 PM

ONE THING IS TRUE THIS K9 IS DEAD AND THE OFFICER THAT WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS CARE IS GOING TO HAVE TO LIVE WITH THE FACT THAT HE KILLED IS PARTNER BUT WE ALL ALSO HAVE TO UNDERSTAND IS WHAT IF IT WAS ONE OF US I AM NOT SAYING ITS OK I AM JUST THINKING ON HOW WE WRITE OUR INPUT ON THIS INCIDENT AND HOW WE JUMP TO JUDGEMENT WHAT WE SHOULD IS LEARN FROM THIS AND HOPEFULLY IT WILL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN.

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