Sergeant Tom Lovejoy of the Chandler, Arizona Police Department was found to be negligent when he left his police dog, Bandit, in the car for 12 hours. Bandit died from the intense heat.
Lovejoy had a two day suspension and is barred from serving on the K-9 unit.
Now, Lovejoy is trying to create something that may prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again. Last week, he demonstrated an Ocu-Alert device which would keep a car running while a dog is inside.
The device is a black mat that is placed in the back of a K-9 vehicle and is connected to the vehicle’s ignition. When the dog is on the mat, the car stays on even if the keys are removed from the ignition.
Lovejoy and his partner, a K-9 handler, plan to sell it to police agencies and consumers for about $800. Lovejoy said that he would not take any of the proceeds.
He added, â€œThis is part of the grieving process. Thatâ€™s basically the driving force behind this. I donâ€™t want anybody to go through what Iâ€™ve been through in the last two months.â€
Source: East Valley Tribune
Photo: Lovejoy pictured with his new dog, Beth.