By Lt. Chris Lawler
9’s “Ranger” and “Koda” from Lakewood Police Department received bullet and stab protective vests thanks to the efforts of Vested Interest in K9’s Inc., a Massachusetts based non-profit organization. The non-profit spearheaded fundraising efforts through an online campaign called “Crowdrise” that raised over $6,300 in just weeks.
Recipients from the event are K9’s Koda and Ranger of Lakewood, WA, K9’s Kato and Ghost of Kent, WA and K9’s Gunner and Ayk from the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office, WA.
Vested Interest in K9’s Inc. is a 501c (3) all volunteer charity located in East Taunton, MA, whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests for law enforcement dogs throughout the United States. Each vest costs $950.00 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 over 930 law enforcement dogs with protective vests since their inception in August of 2009. Over $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, MI exclusively from distributor Regency Police Supply in Hyannis, MA who also does the custom embroidery on the body armor.
New K9 graduates as well as K9’s with expired vests are eligible to apply for the ballistic vests.
For more information visit www.vik9s.org or call 508-824-6978.
Donations by mail to Vested Interest in K9s P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718 or via the website.