Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith reports that one of the Sheriff’s Office’s patrol canines, “Lex”, will receive a bullet and stab protective vest that is being donated by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, Massachusetts whose stated 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 in providing the potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 members. According to the organization, it has provided over 2,600 protective vests throughout 50 states at a cost of over 2.1 million dollars, with funding raised through private and corporate donations. The organization estimates that there are 30,000 law enforcement K9s in service throughout the United States.
According to the organization, the funds to furnish the vest to the Sheriff’s Office K9 were raised and donated by Girl Scout Troop 12524 of North Hampton, New Hampshire. K9 Lex’s vest will be embroidered with the sentiment, “Gifted by Girl Scout Troop 12524 North Hampton, NH” and delivery is expected within eight to ten weeks. Accompanying this News Release is a photograph of Lex—shown with Deputy Sheriff Vincent Dalo, his handler—and a photograph of a canine bullet-proof vest displayed on another dog.
The free vest program is available for dogs that are actively employed within the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies. To be eligible, dogs must be certified as trained and be at least 20 months of age. Newer K9s, as well as longer-serving dogs with expired vests, are eligible for the program. According to Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., the funds necessary to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950.00, with each vest valued between $1,744.00– 2,283.00, having a five-year warranty and having an average weight of 4-5 lbs.
For more information about Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. or to learn about volunteer opportunities or ways of supporting the organization’s efforts, interested persons may call 508-824-6978, visit the organization’s website at www.vik9s.org or write to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is not affiliated with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and this referral to the organization is not an official endorsement of its activities. Information about Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is available on the website of the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General under Non-Profits and Charities.