CIRCLEVILLE – Circleville City council talked about the situation around K9 Harry and Officer Morningstar’s officer to purchase the K9 officer.
Former Circleville K9 Officer Morningstar left Circleville Police department last month leaving K9 Harry in limbo with no other handlers in Circleville. Generally K9’s are only handled by one person and to be transferred they must go through special training to go to another officer. At this time Former Officer Morningstar offered to purchase the dog for 10,000 dollars because he had become attached to his partner and wants to keep him as a pet, and possibly work with him at the sheriffs office where Morningstar is now employee as a deputy.
According to Circleville Management this agreement went under consideration and it was agreed upon that Morningstar would keep the dog kenneled at his home so they could, “work out the details.”
After several months of Morningstar keeping K9 Harry at his home, Circleville informed Morningstar that a deal could not be made for several reasons one being that they could not sell Morningstar the dog for 10,000 dollar without putting the K9 up for public auction.
Circleville Chief Baer told Sciotopost that the second reason for the decision to not sell the dog to Morningstar would be because they could not replace the dog in a timely manner. “We contacted the Dog trainers and the earliest we could get a new dog in would be at the end of the year and with Circleville needing a drug dog we decided that we could retrain Harry and get him back on the streets with two of our new officers who are K9 handlers as early as next week. Baer said that this would be the least costly way to get a K9 back on the streets.”
Tonight during the Circleville City Council meeting Katie Hedges asked the question on who made the decisions on the K9 Harry. Several council members said that they feel that the city would make that decision based on the K9 being city property.
Katie Hedges said that the cost of K9 Harry would be closer to 8,000 to sell the dog to the sheriff where Morningstar is currently a employee. Hedges said they contacted the dog trainers and they said that cost to replace Harry with a green dog would cost around 13,000 plus costs to send a trainer to the facility. Hedges also said the city is already occurring costs of 15.00 a day for kenneling the dog at the facility plus 1000.00 worth of training to get K9 Harry to be prepared for the new handler.
Barry Keller at the end of the meeting said that he wanted council to make the decision on K9 Harry tonight and, “made a motion to work with the law director to draft an agreement and ordinance to transfer the K9 unit to the Pickaway County Sheriffs office, and ultimately into Morningstar’s hands.”
Councilwoman Theis seconded this motion.
Mayor said that they would recommend the dog be placed with a new handler and back on the streets of Circleville Next week.
Councilman Keller said that if they transfer the dog Sheriff Radcliff would work with Circleville for K9 operations until they were able to train a green dog that would not be available until the end of the year.
When the motion went in front of all seven members of Council the motion was voted down 5-2 with Barry Keller and Sherri Theis only council members voting yes.
The decision was made to have the dog stay with the city and be rehandled with a new K9 officer next week.
Listen to the entire discussion here: