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Retired K9 Officer dropped at shelter prompts investigation by the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office

- Georgia, USA -


The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office launched a second investigation into its K-9 Division after retired K9 Officer Kona was surrendered to the Liberty County Animal Shelter back in April.


In a press release the sheriff’s office said that K9 Officer Kona was dropped at the shelter on April 29, 2024, by deputy TREVON TOLSON.


K9 Officer Kona retired and was released to TOLSON on December 20, 2023. As explained in the press release, “When a canine is retired, the handler may be offered the opportunity to adopt it, provided they assume all medical responsibilities as outlined in a signed agreement.  The adoptee is liable for all care, maintenance, vet visits, and medical treatment of the canine.”


According to the release, the sheriff’s office was not aware that TOLSON had surrendered K9 Officer Kona and became aware through social media posts and after being advised by Sergeant Jessy Kilgore. The release also stated that: “No notification was received from Liberty County Animal Control about the status of the retired canine.”


Dr. Rachel A. Peeples, Co-Founder and Primary Veterinarian at Coastal Community Veterinary Clinic in Hinesville, told WSAV that K9 Officer Kona appeared to be underweight and added that whether or not neglect was a factor, the proper steps to care for her may not have been taken.


Dr. Peeples stated: “There are reasons why she would be underweight that would not have been preventable, and there are reasons that would have been preventable. Either way, noticing her being underweight should have happened, and she should have sought out veterinary care to figure out the problem.”


According to the press release, “Sheriff Bowman would not agree to, and had no prior knowledge of, the retired canine being treated in this manner. The well-being and proper care of all canines, both active and retired, is of the utmost importance to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, and any allegations of mistreatment or neglect are taken very seriously.”


After an investigation into the matter was initiated, TOLSON was reassigned to a patrol position, and his K9 Officer was reassigned to a different handler, pending the outcome of the investigation.


The sheriff’s office said that the day after K9 Officer Kona was surrendered, she was adopted by a “previous canine handler.”


I have emailed the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and requested updates on K9 Officer Kona and the investigation. If I get a response, I will post an update.


The timeframe of the investigation is unknown and as stated at the beginning of this article, this is the second investigation into the K9 Division of the sheriff's department.


In fact, as stated in the release, the Liberty County Sheriff's Office had launched an internal investigation already in March 2024, “following a complaint of falsified training documents.”


On March 21, 2024, “Sheriff Bowman was informed that Lieutenant Corey Nadeau and Sergeant David Abbgy, the supervisors of the K-9 Division, had forged training documents to recertify the working canines within the Sheriff's Office. Lt. Nadeau and Sgt. Abbgy resigned prior to the investigation being completed.”


The press release goes on to say that: “After the internal investigation was concluded, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) was notified and asked to conduct a criminal investigation regarding the alleged falsified records being reported to Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.). The results of the GBI investigation have been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council for determination of possible criminal charges. This step was taken to ensure the utmost transparency and to reassure the public and all stakeholders of our ongoing commitment to providing professional law enforcement services to the community. “


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Voice For Us Disclaimer: This story is sourced from the press release by the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and WSAV. Links included.

Please note that details may be removed or new information added should updates become available.



Pictures shared from WSAV

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1 Comment

Judy A Canon
Judy A Canon
Jun 10

Another K9 Officer failed!! These dogs lives are on the line every single day, they are most loyal. Yet, it appears their partners & the ‘higher-ups’ are not as effing loyal! This department needs to be investigated! Today! Not a minute later!! Officer Kona, I pray every day of your life is as honorable as you!

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