A pair of Lakewood Police Department K9's are getting a little extra protection thanks to a Massachusetts-based nonprofit.
Lakewood K9’s “Ranger” and “Koda” recently received bullet and stab protective vests. Vested Interest in K9’s Inc., a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization paid for the vests by spearheading an online fundraising effort called "Crowdrise" that raised more than $6,300 in just weeks.
The K9's that benefitted from Vested Interest include Koda and Ranger; Kato and Ghost from Kent; and Gunner and Ayk from the Okanogan County Sheriff's Office.
Vested Interest in K9’s Inc. is a 501c (3), all-volunteer charity located in East Taunton, Mass., whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests for law enforcement dogs throughout the United States. Each vest costs $950 and has a 5-year warranty. The non-profit 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 K9’s Inc. has provided more than 930 law enforcement dogs with protective vests since their inception in August of 2009. More than $880,000 in K9 vests have been donated in 39 states, including Alaska and Hawaii.
The organization orders the Armor Express vests made in Central Lakes, Mich., exclusively from distributor Regency Police Supply in Hyannis, Mass. who also does the custom embroidery on the body armor.