Indiana State Police Department K9’s Smitty & Apache have received bullet and stab protective vests thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Smitty’s vest was sponsored by a fundraiser hosted by Alaska K9 Center, North Pole, AK and embroidered with the sentiment “This gift of protection provided by Alaska K9 Center”. K9 Apache’s vest was sponsored by Chive on Indiana and embroidered with the sentiment “Gifted by the members of Chive on Indiana KCCO”.
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 2,800 protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 2.4 million dollars.
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 $950.00. Each vest has a value between $1,744 – $2,283, and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 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.
Indiana State Police Indianapolis Post District Commander Lieutenant Jeff Payne said. “We are very thankful for generous donation of these potentially life saving vests for our K9s. Apache and Smitty are valuable assets to our community and providing them these safety tools will only enhance their effectiveness.”