Lake County Sheriff’s Office K9s Ryker, Danno, Dax, and Duke have received bullet and stab protective vests thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The vests were embroidered with the sentiment “Honoring "Blue Paws Strong"”.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., established in 2009, is a 501(c)(3) charity 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. This potentially lifesaving body armor for four-legged K9 officers is U.S. made, custom fitted, and NIJ certified. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 4,538 vests to K9s in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, made possible by both private and corporate donations.
The program is open to U.S. dogs that are at least 20 months old and actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies. K9s with expired vests are also eligible to participate. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States.
Sheriff John D. Idleburg said, “We are so thankful for this generous donation of body armor for our canines, as we need to protect our four-legged deputies just as we do our human deputies! All of our canines are equipped with armor for their protection. The armor previously worn by canines Dax and Duke was going to expire, so they, along with canines Ryker and Danno now have the most current protection. Canine Boomer’s armor is still current, but we will replace it as soon as it reaches its shelf-life.”
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. accepts tax-deductible contributions in any amount, while a single donation of $960 will sponsor one vest. Each vest has a value of $1,744-$2,283, weighs an average of 4-5 lb., and comes with a five-year warranty. 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 donations at www.vik9s.org, or you may mail your contribution to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718.