K9 Unit

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Photo of Jax, Bos, Drago

The Kings County Sheriff's Office K9 Unit was established in 1988 with Vacco, a German Shepherd who was donated to the Sheriff's Office. Today, the team consists of 4 Deputies and their K9 Partners. All four of the dogs are certified for patrol. Two of our canines  are also cross trained  in narcotics detection .

A K9 and his handler are important contributors to investigations. Besides apprehending criminals, the dogs protect their handler, other law enforcement officers and the residents of Kings County. The dogs are also trained to search for missing persons, locate evidence, and detect narcotics. The dogs' keen sense of hearing and smell make searches of buildings and other areas for criminals much more effective and safer for law enforcement personnel.

Each dog is assigned to a specific handler and lives with the Deputy at his home. The handler is responsible for his dog's training, care, grooming, and medical needs.  Each dog and his handler spend a minimum of 20 hours per month training in addition to their regular duties on patrol. The dogs and their handlers also must complete annual certification for patrol and narcotics detection.

The Kings County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit frequently provides demonstrations to the public. These demonstrations showcase many of the units' capabilities. Each year the K9 Unit puts on these demonstrations, which are usually done for schools, community organizations and special events.  If you would like more information or to schedule a demonstration please contact the K9 Unit Supervisor, Sergeant Loren Bettencourt via email at loren.bettencourt@co.kings.ca.us or the Sheriff's Office by phone at (559) 582-3211 Ext. 2790. 

Each dog costs approximately $10,000. The equipment, training class, travel and other items needed to support the dog during the initial 8 week training school costs an additional $14,000. The citizens of Kings County have donated the bulk of the money used to purchase the dogs and equipment. The Sheriff's Posse and its members also lend financial support each year.  If you would like to make a donation to the Kings County Sheriff's Office K9 Team donations can be made by contacting the Sheriff's Office at  (559) 582-3211 Ext. 2790.

Donations are also accepted through The Brando Fund. The Brando Fund was formed in 2010 as a non-profit foundation by Dr. Lee Fausett and several employees at the Hanford Veterinary Hospital. The Brando Fund is a foundation supporting the health, education, and well being of the Kings County Sheriff's K-9 Unit. Its main purpose is to provide an avenue for the public to donate money that will be directly distributed to the K-9 unit in the support of training, equipment purchases, and assistance in meeting the medical needs of the canines.  If you would like to make a donation to The Brando Fund, please contact Dr. Lee Fausett at the Hanford Veterinary Hospital by phone at (559) 584-4481 or by email at hanfordvethospital@sbcglobal.net.

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For further information concerning the K9s, or to schedule a demonstration, call: 

Sergeant Loren Bettencourt
Kings County Sheriffs Office
1444 W. Lacey Blvd.
Hanford, Ca 93230
(559) 582-3211 ext 2790
(559) 469-2854 (cell)