LIVINGSTON COUNTY – One of the Sheriff’s Office’s K9 officers is safer thanks to another generous donation through Vested Interest in K9s Inc.
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According to a press release from Sheriff Thomas Dougherty, Sheriff’s K9 Vader’s vest is sponsored by an anonymous donor and will be embroidered with the sentiment ‘Only the best protection for man’s best friend.’ Delivery is expected within eight to 10 weeks.
K9 Vader is a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois certified in patrol, tracking and narcotics detection. He is handled by Sergeant Chad Draper of the Road Patrol Division, who also serves at the Sheriff’s Office K9 trainer.
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 non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 2,400 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 1.9 million dollars. All vests are custom made in the USA by Armor Express in Central Lake, MI.
The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $1,050.00. Each vest has a value between $1,795 and $2,234 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4 to 5 lbs. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.