Spooked Dog Ends Up Stuck Beneath Phoenix Police Patrol Vehicle


A stray dog found himself in the undercarriage of a Phoenix police vehicle. (Credit: Phoenix Police Department)

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A stray dog found himself in a tight spot Wednesday when he wound up in the undercarriage of a Phoenix police vehicle.

It all started earlier in the day Wednesday, as Phoenix Police Department Lt. Tom Van Dorn was on patrol when he came across a pack of small dogs running down the street near 47th Avenue and Encanto Blvd.

Van Dorn sounded his horn to disperse the canines.

“There was a pack of dogs, about 4 to 5 little dogs, just kind of running down the middle of the street, blocking traffic,” Van Dorn said. “So I pulled up slowly; ended up hitting the horn on the patrol car to try to get them to disperse. Most of them took off running but one little guy ended up darting underneath the police Tahoe.”

The spooked pooch run right under the lieutenant’s car, and after that, wouldn’t budge.

“He was underneath for a while. One of the neighborhood residents was coming to bring out a broom to see if we could get him to come out. But every time we tried, he just kept moving closer and closer to the Tahoe and wouldn’t budge,” he said. “We tried to even back the Tahoe up slowly to try to get him out. He would just continue to follow the car back.”

Soon, Van Dorn saw that the dog had managed to squeeze himself into the undercarriage of the patrol Tahoe.

It’s not clear if the dog was stubborn or actually stuck. Nevertheless, the pup was under there for about 20 minutes.

“He just appeared to be scared; he was shaking,” Van Dorn said. “He was just scared and really didn’t want to come out for us.”

Even the offer of a hot dog failed to entice the canine to emerge.

“I would have never thought he would have made it up into the engine block itself or that he would have even fit,” said van Dorn. “He was a little Chihuahua-type dog. But he was still about 10 to 12 pounds, and it never would have occurred to me that he would fit.”

But finally, with the help of Maricopa County Animal Care & Control, the dog was rescued.

He is expected to be just fine.

The shelter will try to track down his family, or find him a new home.

This is not the first time Lt. Van Dorn has made headlines for his acts of kindness and community spirit.

A You Tube video in August of 2015 showed Van Dorn at a Si Se Puede Block watch party in Maryvale. Toward the end of the event, Van Dorn was asked if he would join in and dance to help motivate the crowd.

Little did Van Dorn know that by dance, they meant Zumba. But he was a good sport and jumped right in.

Van Dorn said at the time, “I firmly believe in the community-based policing philosophy and finding ways to connect… helps foster and promote community confidence which is needed to help us in our crime suppression efforts.

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