Posted by: Media Relations
The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department K9 Unit has been awarded a ballistic vest grant thanks to a nonprofit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., and a generous donation from The Hausman Family Foundation. Daisy, one of several canines on the team, received a vest.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States.
The vest dogs receive costs $950.00 and has a 5 year warranty. The nonprofit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four legged K9 Officers. Through private and corporate sponsorships, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 1100 law enforcement dogs in 39 states with protective vests since 2009 at a cost of $1,045,000.
K9 injuries and deaths occur more often than the public may be aware of. There are no statistics dedicated to tracking K9 injury and death in the line of duty, making an estimation difficult. During the week of October 6 2014 alone, there were at least five publicized K9 deaths or serious injuries in the United States. In 2014 to date, there have been 18 documented K9 line of duty deaths according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. Protective wear such as bullet and stab protective vests will help protect K9s just as their human partners are protected by their vests, increasing their ability to do their job while minimizing the risk to the team.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has also announced that their calendar on sale now for $15.00 online at www.vik9s.org and at select retailers. Proceeds from the sales will provide bullet and stab protective vests. All goods and services for the calendar were donated by generous sponsors, photographers and participating law enforcement agencies, for police dogs actively working without the potentially lifesaving equipment.
The organization orders the U.S. made vests exclusively from distributor Regency Police Supply in Hyannis, MA who also does the custom embroidery on the body armor. Vests are manufactured by Armor Express in Central Lake, MI.
New K9 graduates as well as K9's with expired vests are eligible to participate. The program is open to law enforcement dogs who are US employed, certified and at least 19 months of age.
For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Tax deductible donations accepted via mail to: Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718 or via the website: www.vik9s.org.