Monterey Park Police Department canine (K9) Piro has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. and manufacturer Armor Express as part of the incentive program for which one free vest is awarded for every 15 vests purchased by the charity. Vests were donated to K9s in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c(3) charity located in East Taunton, Massachusetts 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 1,600 protective vests, in 49 states including Alaska and Hawaii, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 1.5 million dollars. All vests are custom made in the USA by Armor Express in Central Lake, Michigan.
The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 19 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.
The suggested donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $1,050. Each vest has a value between $1,795-$2,234, 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.
Sergeant Gus Jimenez, Monterey Park Police Department