(PAOLI) – Orange County Sheriff’s Officer K9 Finn has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
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 3,500 U.S. made, custom-fitted, NIJ certified protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $6.9 million.
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. 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.
“It has been a tremendous honor for Finn, our department, and our community to receive this generous donation to our K-9 program,” says Deputy Ryan Smith. “Like our deputies, every time Finn goes on a call he too runs the risk of serious injury or death and it provides a little bit of comfort to know that he will have this vest and have some of the same protection as the deputies and officers he is serving alongside.”
OCSD K-9 Program
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit has been founded from the beginning solely from the generosity of local businesses and citizens who have generously donated to the department’s K-9 fund to make having a K-9 unit at the sheriff’s department a reality.
As of the date of this release, Finn has been deployed 64 times throughout Orange County since certification in May of 2019.
“Without the generosity of those individuals, we would not be fortunate enough to have such a valuable resource available to the citizens of Orange County,” Deputy Smith added. “We will continue to need to raise funds in order to maintain our program now and in the future.
Anyone who would be interested in assisting us may contact us at the below listed address.
For donation information:
Orange County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Fund
205 E. Main Street, Suite 5
Paoli, IN 47454