Phoenix Cop Accused Of Leaving Police Dog In Hot Car

Lovejoy/BanditSgt. Tom Lovejoy, of the Chandler Police Department, is accused of leaving his police dog in his patrol car for more than 12 hours in 109 degree temperatures. Bandit, the 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, died from the intense heat.

He was booked into jail with a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty after a two-week investigation was done.

The investigation showed Bandit was in Lovejoy’s patrol car from around 9 a.m. to shortly after 10 p.m. on August 11. When Bandit was in the car, Lovejoy did errands, took a nap, and ate with his wife. When he came back to the car, Bandit had already died.

“I am certain Sgt. Lovejoy has suffered greatly from leaving his police dog in a sweltering car,” Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. “I do not relish the idea of compounding his sadness. However, Lovejoy must be treated like anyone else in similar circumstances.”

Lovejoy is set to appear in court on September 25 and has been advised not to comment on his case.

Lovejoy said Wednesday night that he is scheduled to appear in court September 25 and his lawyer advised him not to comment further.

“With the sheriff railing on me right now, it’s kind of hard to say anything,” Lovejoy said.

An internal investigation of the case has also been launched.

Source: Daily News

Photo: Associated Press

(Thanks menusux)

48 Responses to “Phoenix Cop Accused Of Leaving Police Dog In Hot Car”

  1. Lynne says:

    “I am certain Sgt. Lovejoy has suffered greatly from leaving his police dog in a sweltering car,”

    Not until someone locks him in his patrol car for 12 hours in 109 degree heat. This in conjunction with the link in comments on an earlier post about police “trainers” abusing and killing dogs makes me think police departments need to just quit using (and abusing) dogs.

  2. Shawn says:

    If I lived in Phoenix I would be making my views known to the Police Chief. In my opinion in addition to whatever maximum penalties the law allows, this “cop” ought to be put on desk duty at a minimum. Someone with so little compassion and common sense ought not to be policing in the community at all.

  3. KarlaSanDiego says:

    OH…..MY…..GOD! This makes me sick to my stomach!!! Yes, as punishment he should be ordered to sit in his patrol car for 12 hours in 109 degree heat, as Lynne says, and then thrown in jail. What a waste of a human being and a police officer no less.

  4. Judy says:

    What a jacka$$, he should be fired IMHO, Sgt. Lovejoy has suffered?? WTH about that poor dog?

    I hope they don’t give this jerk another dog and I hope he gets jail time.

  5. nora says:

    Poor poor Bandit. How he must have suffered and wondered why his police parent had left him that way. HOW IN THE HELL DO YOU FORGET A 5 YR OLD BELGIAN MALINOIS IN THE CAR IN 109 DEGREE HEAT! I cry for that sweet poor poor doggie. They are so sensitive and intelligent.

  6. nora says:

    Let me add, that cold-hearted, self serving, selfish, ignorant, brutal, non thinking dumb clod of a cop. I hope to GOD that he is never left the responsibility of another Police Dog. Makes me also wonder how many other times poor Bandit suffered by being ignored and meals and watering missed before the fatal incident!!!!! OH MY GOD I HATE THIS GUY!

  7. Denise says:

    in another article it reported the daughter fed their other dogs within that 12 hour time span and it never clicked with her Bandit was missing.

    how do you live with dogs for 4 years and not notice one of them is missing at feeding time….then they used another excuse the son was in a car accident which is now not mentioned anywhere in this recent development.

    his wife gave some lame response to the criticsm:

    http://www.azcentral.com/12new.....og-CP.html

    The officer’s wife responds

    Editor’s note: An exceptional number of readers responded to this story online, most with negative comments directed toward Sgt. Tom Lovejoy. The following response was posted by Carolynn Lovejoy, his wife. The authenticity of her post was confirmed by Chandler police.

    I am going to post this blog only to let you all know that no matter what you say, it is nothing compared to what this man is saying or feeling about himself. The article released a few events but did not portray the entire evening and morning of events. This was a horrific accident with which there is no explanation that can be given to justify why it happened. We loved Bandit and he was part of our family. We are grieving his loss more then you can possibly imagine. It is funny how people think that because he is a police officer, nothing is going to happen. When actually it is because he is a police officer something is going to happen. Nothing that happens to him from this can compare to what he is suffering from within. So with that, I am ending this blog. I ask those of you with any compassion and understanding to remember that we are human and sometimes, something horrible can happen that we would never dream of letting happen, and pray for our family. I will pray for all of you that are saying these horrible things that nothing ever happens to you or your family and people are as callous and horrible to say things to you that will add to your torment.

    - Carolynn Lovejoy

  8. mittens says:

    and i am sure this dog was absolutely devoted to him and would never have left his master in jeopardy. master-what a complete joke. this dog would have willing given it’s life obeying this man and this ass couldn’t drag himself away from stuffing his face to make sure the dog was safe. and was he actually on the job from 9am to 10 pm “doing errands”, napping and snacking with his wife ? if so- what a disgrace to the uniform all around. besides killing police dogs why don’t you do some work, sgt. killshelter?

    as, now, a proud honorary alsatian german shepherd ,i am especially horrified.

  9. jc says:

    It is shamefull that someone who was trained for police dog work, which I understand there is like a waiting list for the priviledge, would just forget another police officer in the vehichle. Yes, another police officer. Police Dogs are treated as officers. If they are shot during a pursuit, the criminal is charged with such a crime. They are your partner.

    I would love to tell the Chief all about it. I think that we all should. I think the officer should lose his pension.

    Oh, well, I am sure he will use the it was hot made me stupid defense.

  10. Jenny Bark says:

    I agree with every word you all have said. This poor baby would have glady gave is life or been hurt to protect this lazy man or any other cop died in a locked he!! hole prison for what being a good boy. I’m crying with you Nora.

  11. JM says:

    Wait a minute here. A police dog is supposed to be held in the same regard as a police officer. If a perpetrator kills a police dog, he gets charged with something more serious than a misdemeanor. I thought they get charged with assault or murder of a police officer if they attack a police dog. Double standards here. I forget exactly, I am so upset over this. Throw the book at him. That was his PARTNER he let down. Shame, shame on him. 109 degrees….I can’t imagine how hot it was inside that car. Poor baby. He should be given a hero’s funeral, complete with all the bagpipes. I hope they do a psychological evaluation on this guy.

  12. Jayne Hawthorne says:

    This is about as bad as it gets. I cannot believe that anyone, let alone someone trained to handle animals could do such a terrible thing. He needs to pay the city back for the cost of training his dog and he never should be alowed to own or handle an animal again. In addition, I think he should do public service and anything else the law alows as punishment. I know his wife entered a comment about how bad they feel. Excuse me? You left a living creature for how many hours in a hot car????? I don’t care if it was a COLD car. Do you forget your child for that long? Do you eat a meal and forget that your partner is hungry? Sorry. I am not buying it. I understand as a wife you are defending your husband, but it is a good thing I am not his wife because it would not be for long!

  13. Stefani says:

    I hope, I think, the Sheriff intended his remark’s about LoveJoy’s suffering to be sarcastic.

    Stefani

  14. Lynne says:

    As the owner of 3 dogs I cannot IMAGINE not missing one of them for 12 hours. I just can’t.

  15. Lynn says:

    Poor, poor Bandit.

    It’s obvious to me that the cop was derelict in his duties. I don’t care how much any of them try to plead their case and that “stuff happens” - all I can say is that for many reasons this should NEVER EVER happen to any police dog. NEVER!

    I don’t care who the caretaker is, a dog is a responsibility and, damn it, of ALL people, cops should know that this responsibility is a 24/7.

    And in Arizona, no less.

    And shame on him for giving his daughter the responsibility of feeding the pet and not noticing he was missing or letting him know.

    And the wife didn’t even bother to question the dog’s absence.

    You can’t tell me the family was crazy about the dog.

    I’m at the point where I believe there should be a federal law against leaving pets in vehicles unattended. Any temperature.

    And as if this isn’t bad enough:

    “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.” [Taken from the link in one of the preceding posts.]

    I wonder how many other instances related to dog-in-police car have occurred due to heat? It sounds like their policy is to leave the airconditioning running. Great.

  16. Lynn says:

    Like Lynne, I cannot imagine not knowing every second where my dogs are. My mother was dying and I knew exactly where my dog was; I checked in spite of my grief.

    I can remember working very, very tense, long hours and yet I knew exactly what my dogs were doing. I call and check. Frequently.

    Furthermore, for all the money spent on special training and the dog itself, you would think the police at the very least, considering today’s technology, would equip those officers with dogs with handheld wireless devices that hook up to the interior of the patrol car so they can check on the dog if it must be left locked in the vehicle. Air conditioning DOES fail, you know.

  17. Debbie4747 says:

    His wife says, “given to justify why it happened. We loved Bandit and he was part of our family”. If they have kids, maybe he might want to leave one of his little toddlers in a hot car for 12 hours and see what that gets him. Just because it is a dog does not excuse him. It’s still a life. I think his kids should be taken away from him, if he has any, because he’s apt to be neglectful again. So very sad.

  18. Shaun in Tucson says:

    Unfortunately, nearly every summer in Az, someone forgets a baby all day in a car seat in their car’s back seat, so it’s not just dogs this happens to.

    I don’t know how many times I’ve called the police because of dogs left in cars at malls and shopping centers…and it is illegal, at least in Tucson, to do so.

    If only there was an actual Hell, Sgt Lovejoy would know how Bandit felt. I’m just sick that he’s only been charged with a misdemeanor. He should definitely lose his job and he should be charged with a felony, IMO.

  19. Lynn says:

    We see a lot of the same thing here in southern CA. It doesn’t get quite as hot here as in Arizona, either, still most of us know that you never leave a dog in a car, even if it’s parked in the SHADE with the window cracked open.

    All I can imagine is that this officer must not have routinely spent a lot of time with the dog once he got home. How else could he have forgotten?

  20. Debra Lewis Caruso says:

    This makes me so angry,in rural Southern Va where I live,I had a run in with an officer of the law,about some idiot,leaving thier puppy in the back of a pick up in 100 degree weather a few summers ago.The officer was rude,told me it was none of my business and that it wasn’t that hot.I usually am very polite and respectful of the law,but I let him have it,took the puppy myself and found a home.The dog had no water,no shelter,I bought several bottles of spring water to give him.This was at Walmart and the puppy was crying pathetically.The officer told me it wasn’t hot enough for a dog to die.Anyway,I went to the chief and educated him and his errant officer about dogs and animals being in cars in the heat.
    I just don’t understand how people just don’t have any common sense!
    The penalties should be greater for this type of neglect and abuse.

  21. Carol says:

    Sherrif Joe Arpaio and his goons sure do seem to have a ‘way with dogs’. In a story from the Phoenix News, we learned that during a bungled weapons raid:

    (A) SWAT team member drove a dog trying to flee the home back into the inferno, where it met an agonizing death.

    Deputies then reportedly laughed as the dog’s owners came unglued as it perished in the blaze.

    “I was crying hysterically,” Andrea Barker, one of the dog’s owners, tells me. “I was so upset. They [deputies] were laughing at me.”

    Making fun of the 10-month-old pit bull puppy’s death wasn’t enough.

    Arpaio’s goons then left the dog’s body to rot in the ashes for the next five days of 105-degree temperatures. A pall of death hung over the neighborhood. It was a putrid reminder of Arpaio’s reckless use of force and callous disregard for the public’s welfare. Not to mention the heinous treatment toward the terrified dog.

    Read the rest of the story here -
    http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com.....rnoon/full

  22. kaefamily says:

    Some people shouldn’t be allowed to own/have a pet nor any breathing living being!

    Based on the article, this idiot of an officer should never be allowed to be a peace officer. Obviously, he somehow managed to pass the psychological test that every police cadet must pass.

  23. Kristy says:

    This is such BS. The guy had “personal distractions” going on? So much he remembered to feed himself with his family but not his fellow officer that does not have the capability to open doors to save himself. He ran errands? He took a nap? If this was a baby, would his wife say the same thing?

    I am so sick of people treating pets inhumanely and then saying “he/she was like family!” when something bad happens. Or “poor me, I feel so bad for what I did - but I have a really good excuse…” Hogwash.

    I’m so disgusted by this. Can’t believe this man was carrying around a gun to “serve and protect.” Bleck.

  24. JM says:

    This wasn’t a pet. Bandit was a trained “police officer”, a valued member of the force, a partner. Would sure hate to be this guy’s partner.

    Morons leave their babies, toddlers, and pets in locked cars in the heat all over the country. They don’t just die in the west. They die all over the country because of these idiots.

  25. Furbabies says:

    First degree murder. Murder of a police officer. This ignoramus needs to be off the force and in jail. If he was this careless of his own partner, just imagine what he would do to a civilian.

  26. Moonbeam says:

    People forget their children - it seems like something that could happen. I bet the officer is upset over this too. It’s a shame that humans make mistakes and then children and animals suffer. I can only imagine that he just was stressed and tired and thought the dog was okay - a terrible terrible mishap. Bandit rest in peace.

  27. shawn arthers says:

    This is a blatant crime, Bandit was a police officer. and if any civilian did harm,or taken and left in a car to die, they would be prosecuted ,for killing a cop. this man should be let go, if you have so little respect for your dog,your partner. do not take the k-9 position. HOPE HE REMEMBERS TO WIPE HIS *SS
    thank you for your time

  28. Lynn says:

    After posting to this blog earlier I checked with a friend who works with a large police department and is involved in training the dogs. He told me that most of the dogs die of heat exhaustion than anything else. But don’t interpret that as heat exhaustion inside the car. Rather, these dogs have such Type A personalities that they simply will go on command until they drop.

    I no sooner got off the phone with him and I saw this news:

    http://www.ajc.com/metro/conte....._0907.html

  29. Lynn says:

    I learned something about police dogs today and about police practices at one large police station. I can’t guarantee that this is policy at all stations.

    Police dogs spend most of their on-duty time inside the squad car, even if the officer is not inside the car. This particular police department uses the “run on system,” which allows the human officer to leave the vehicle with the dog inside, lock it while in the “drive” position and the keys out of the ignition. The engine runs for the purpose of operating the air conditioning. Their squad cars have heavy duty cooling systems, so typically the cars never overheat. The “run on system” also has a temperature alarm which will notify the officer [who is away from the vehicle] should there be a problem with the vehicle’s interior overheating. The officer is able to remotely unlock the door and open it from a distance in the event of emergency.

  30. Sylvia says:

    There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for the death of this dog. If this police officer cannot even remember where he left his partner he, at the very least, should be fired from his job and prosecuted to the very fullest extent of the law - and, oh yeah, any and all other animals in his house should be removed - no one this careless should have responsibility for any living thing. He’s an idiot and that is the kindest thing that can be said about this jerk.

  31. CINDY WALSH says:

    LEAVING A DOG IN A CAR WHEN IT IS THAT HOT IS THE HEIGHT OF STUPIDITY! HE IS GOING TO HELL, SO HE WILL EXPERIENCE THE HEAT TOO!

  32. Sharon says:

    A police officer with a disregard for life. Why am I not surprised? When you look at their pics side by side the dog looks more human than the man. Which one would you trust your life with?

  33. Barb says:

    Bringing up my post from yesterday -

    Police Officer charged with felony animal cruelty charges for allegedly kicking his K-9 partner Duke to death during an obedience training exercise with more than a dozen other police dogs and trainers present.

    Read - http://ga0.org/indefenseofanim…..d=10493728

    This is no isolated incident–this happens all the time. Though there are some compassionate people who work in the army and the police, they are the exception. Brutality is the norm–dogs are hanged and kicked to death. People are outraged when torture and sadistic killing of animals is done by individuals–don’t tolerate it being done by institutions, or people hiding behind them, being protected by them. This torture must be exposed and stopped. And brutal “training” methods which torture and kill animals must be outlawed. Here is a website by a courageous lady who has devoted her life to exposing and stopping this horror–it is happening all around us all the time:

    http://www.stoplynching.com/

  34. Barb says:

    More police officer brutality:

    Police Officer charged with felony animal cruelty charges for allegedly kicking his K-9 partner Duke to death during an obedience training exercise with more than a dozen other police dogs and trainers present.

    Read - http://ga0.org/indefenseofanim…..d=10493728

    This is no isolated incident–this happens all the time. Though there are some compassionate people who work in the army and the police, they are the exception. Brutality is the norm–dogs are hanged and kicked to death. People are outraged when torture and sadistic killing of animals is done by individuals–don’t tolerate it being done by institutions, or people hiding behind them, being protected by them. This torture must be exposed and stopped. And brutal “training” methods which torture and kill animals must be outlawed. Here is a website by a courageous lady who has devoted her life to exposing and stopping this horror–it is happening all around us all the time:

    http://www.stoplynching.com/

  35. beaucat says:

    In response to the comment about using the “run on system” I read an article not long ago of an instance where this “system” was used. The car quit running, resulting in no A/C & the poor dog died while his “partner” was inside a nice comfortable environment……
    Animals should not for any reason be left inside a car. If my babies can’t come in with me they stay home with the A/C running.

  36. Tammy says:

    This person should be fired. I hope they do not give him another dog to torture. He had to of done it on purpose you just don’t leave a animal for that many hours. How about feeding him or going to the bathroom. I say fire the S.O.B. I always put the welfare of my animals first before anything else.

  37. Lynn says:

    Some CA laws regarding animal welfare:

    Tethered dogs: It’s illegal to tie a dog to a stationary object for more than three hours a day (SB 1578).

    Pets: It’s illegal to leave an animal in an unattended vehicle, endangered by cold or heat (SB 1806).

    http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/05-.....floor.html

    In some counties in CA it is illegal to leave an animal without water.

  38. kaefamily says:

    Lynn,
    Regarding the first law: dog could still be tied longer than 3 hours IF there are reasonable accommodations, i.e. food and water.

    As for leaving a pet in an unattended vehicle: again, it could still be legal as long as there the pet is not in imminent danger.

    In both cases, the key word is “reasonable” hence the laws are open to interpretation.

    It is against the law to carry a pet without any type of restraint system in an open truck bed. Still, it continues to happen especially in the rural farming towns.

    In short, pets are commonly considered properties; not a breathing living creatures. Heck, women and children still are viewed as men’s property!

  39. deej says:

    ok - I’ll be the bad guy here and say;
    carolynn, I am truly sorry for your loss.

    I am sorry for the loss of anyone’s companion.

    What I can’t reconcile however - the burning building incident… Something needs to change - drastically… Perhaps Carolynn needs to start the force of compassion for those who are grieving - by doing something for the people who were laughed at… Does that make any sense?

    agh - what a miserable story this is…

  40. deej says:

    In case people misinterpret my post - yes it is a crime and I believe it should (and will, it sounds like) be treated as such. I think that does not need automatically preclude compassion Sorry - it’s late and I shouldn’t jump into things when I’m not writing clearly.

  41. Another Police Dog Dies After Being Left In Hot Car | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats says:

    […] daily email digest or subscribe in a RSS reader.First, Bandit, a five-year-old Belgian Malinois, died after being left in a patrol car in 109 degree temperatures for over 12 hours. Now, there is another horrible incident of a police dog death’s from being […]

  42. Sharon says:

    They need ban the use of dogs by the police. Police officers are obviously not fit to care for animals. I don’t see any difference between what I’m reading in the posts above and the uproar over dog fighting and Michael Vick. Animal cruelty and abuse is the same to me no matter who is perpetrating the crime. As far as I’m concerned being responsible for the death of a dog either through murder or negligence ought to be a felony.

  43. purringfur says:

    “With the sheriff railing on me right now, it’s kind of hard to say anything,” Lovejoy said.
    …………………….
    Add thousands of pet owners railing on you, too, and speaking AGAINST you to the department as well!

    And he didn’t THINK of his pet for more than 12 hours? I think about and check on my pets CONSTANTLY. Constantly! How could anyone not? 12 hours?? Unconscionable!

    EVERY DAY this dog put his life on the line for the officer! What a payback to Bandit that he was not even a thought in his partner’s mind for over 12 hours!

  44. purringfur says:

    repost - sorry, mods.

  45. Carol Johnson says:

    We are supposed to feel sorry for the jerk who is having a great time….while is dog is left to die a horrible death?

    I could care less about Lovejoy’s “suffering”….it is the dog who suffered…not Lovejoy…and by the way…the original excuse was that he forgot the dog because he was distracted because his son was in an accident.

  46. Further Investigation Into Bandit’s Death, K-9 Dog Left In Car For 12 Hours | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats says:

    […] week, we posted up a story about a Phoenix area cop, Sgt. Tom Lovejoy, who was accused of leaving Bandit, his K-9 dog, in a patrol car for more than 12 hours in 109 degree temperatures. Bandit died from the intense […]

  47. Trish says:

    Tom Lovejoy (what a name to give this worthless piece of crap) should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
    Abuse an animal, go to jail. In this case, I agree with the woman who said this guy should be locked in a car for 12 hours in 109 degree heat and left to die…….and whomever stated, “I’m sure he’s suffering from the loss of
    his dog.” Like hell he is……look how stupid he looks in his picture….he’s probably on drugs…..hate hate hate this low life piece of shit

  48. lydia says:

    sgt. lovejoy should not be given any dog at all from now on i don’t think he love brandit at all to leave him in a hot car for 12 hours - I love my pug and always think how he is and where he is - lovejoy should be kick out of the police force.

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