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Fraud allegations surrounding money raised dog's cancer treatments
CAMPBELL COUNTY, Ky. (Brad Underwood) -- Eight-year-old Olivia was diagnosed with cancer that forced her to get her leg amputated.
Local 12 viewers stepped up to help by donating thousands of dollars to help pay for treatment. But Local 12 has learned that the money may not be going to help Olivia after all.
Because of the cancer Olivia had to retire from the Campbell County Search and Rescue team, or CCSAR. Thousands of dollars were collected through donations to help pay for the massive medical bills. Now, Olivia's caregiver and her friend, both suspended K-9 handlers from the CCSAR, have filed suit claiming some of the money raised to help Olivia is being withheld.
Local 12 first introduced Olivia back in May. She did her best to run around at the car wash fundraiser. The money, according to a flyer and now evidence, was to be used to pay for Olivia's upcoming cancer treatments and care.
Attorney Charles Lester said, "People donated with that understanding. Those funds have to be used for that purpose. Otherwise they are committing a fraud on the people that made donations."
Lester represents the two handlers. Shana Bockelman cares every day for Olivia. Rick Flagg, a close friend, has even reached into his own pocket to help pay for care. Bockelman and Flagg claim some of the money collected for Olivia is being held back. Rob Dawn is the chief of CCSAR and told Local 12 there was a cap on what the organization would pay for Olivia's treatment and that was $10 thousand.
Lester continued, "What came in? How much came in? Where is it going? Now they are saying we're only paying 10 thousand dollars. We're pretty sure there's at least 14 thousand maybe more that's been collected."
The suit claims there was never an agreed upon limit. It was never written out, discussed or put on any of the publications about the fundraisers.
Flagg said, "It feels very much like being bullied around. The rules seem to change as they come from dawn and the CCSAR. We never really know where things stand. Every vet treatment has been a fight to get the money to make that payment."
On the phone, Dawn told Local 12 $3,400 was put into Olivia's vet account Thursday, fulfilling CCSAR's obligation in paying for treatments. According to Lester, exactly how much money raised and how much of that has been used to pay for Olivia's treatment is unknown.
The books remain closed. The resolution they want is to make sure all the money that people donated for Olivia will be used to pay for her treatments. The next step will be a motion hearing to determine how this case will move forward.
At the moment, Bockelman and Flagg are suspended from Campbell County Search and Rescue. They have a termination hearing August 17.
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