The Beaver County Sheriff’s Office says it needs up to a month to search for documents detailing how its department acquired the dogs being utilized as Sheriff’s K9s, needs up to a month to find documentation on who actually owns the dogs, and needs up to a month to locate any contracts or agreements the department may have with a private for-profit K9 handling business being operated by some of its Sheriff’s Deputies. The one thing the Sheriff’s Office does know, is that it has no records detailing where any of the monies donated by the public to the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office K9 fund went.
The delays and denials come after the Beaver Countian submitted a series of formal Right-To-Know requests seeking information about the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office K9 Division. This publication’s requests were made as it nears completion of a nearly year-long investigation into entanglements between the Sheriff’s Office and a private for-profit K9 handling business being run by some of the department’s Deputies.
Beaver County Officials say a search of county records yielded no contracts, agreements, resolutions or expenditures that show where the Sheriff’s Office acquired its dogs or who owns the animals. A similar search by county officials found no contracts, agreements, resolutions, or expenditures between the Sheriff’s Office and a private company operated by some in its department, or between the Sheriff’s Office and the American Working Dog Association which is having a major workshop in the county next month.
Although the County was able to complete its search within days, the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office notified County Officials they will need up to a month to do its own search for those same records, saying “the extent or nature of the request precludes a response within the required time period.”
Beaver County Officials say there are no records in any county department, including the Sheriff’s Office, for a bank account being used by the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office K9 Fund, or records of donations or expenditures for the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office K9 Fund, which has been raising money from the public for years through various fundraising activities.
The county’s formal letter of extensions for the Beaver Countian’s Right-To-Know requests now puts a response date of no later than May 27th.
From The Beaver Countian’s Ongoing Investigative Files:
The following video from December 2015 shows Beaver County Sheriff’s Deputy Jim Brown training a dog for K9 service. The training exercise is taking place inside of the Beaver County Emergency Services storage building, which houses the county’s rescue boat, armored vehicle, and other emergency response apparatus. The dog seen in the video was not owned or utilized by the county and was being offered for sale by Bullocks K-9 North, a private for-profit company owned by Beaver County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Richard Yonlisky. This video was used as a commercial to advertise the sale of the dog.
The American Working Dog Association’s 2016 Pennsylvania Workshop and Certification hosted by the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office and Bullocks K-9 North will take place from May 23rd to May 27th at Bradys Run Park. The event is $135 to attend and is being organized by Beaver County Sheriff’s Deputy K9 Handler, Bullocks K-9 North proprietor, and American Working Dog Association trainer Sgt. Richard Yonlisky.