The York County District Attorney’s Office says it will notify police departments of upcoming trials so they’re not surprised by rulings, as Buxton police were by the March plea deal for the owners of a puppy mill.

District Attorney Kathryn Slattery and Assistant District Attorney John Connelly met with Buxton Police Chief Michael Grovo and state veterinarian Christine Fraser last month to talk about why the police department was not told about a plea agreement reached for John and Heidi Frasca, owners of J’aime Kennel.

Grovo said in a news release that the attorneys agreed they should have made police aware of the upcoming ruling and they would begin sending email notifications of trials to local departments to avoid a similar situation.

Grovo said in a phone interview today that former District Attorney Mark Lawrence used to notify departments about trials but the office dropped that practice at some point. He said the shortage and turnover of employees in that office contributed to the communication breakdown in the puppy mill case.

Grovo publicly criticized the District Attorney’s Office in March for striking an overly lenient deal for the Frascas and not asking for input from his department.

Each of the Frascas was charged with 25 counts of animal cruelty in 2007 after the state seized about 250 dogs from the kennel. Under an agreement with prosecutors, they each pleaded no contest in March to five of the charges. The other counts were dropped.

They will have to complete 60 hours of community service and keep no more than four animals through August 2012 in order to have the remaining charges dismissed. If they violate those terms, they could face as a much as a year in jail.

Grovo said today he’s still “not happy” about the agreement, but now understands how it was reached and believes his department will be involved in such decisions in the future.

“I’m confident this won’t happen again,” he said.