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Anonymous donor provides protective vest for police dog

Contributed • May 18, 2018 at 7:42 PM

ELIZABETHTON — An anonymous donor is making sure that the Carter County Sheriff’s Department’s police dog, Spike, will have state-of-the-art protective gear while performing his duties.

The protective vest for dogs is from Vested Interest in K9s Inc. The donor requested that the sentiment “in memory of Molly” be embroidered on the vest. Delivery of the vest is expected in about eight weeks.

Spike has been with the sheriff’s department for two years. He helps deputies find contraband in the jail and searches for lost or fleeing persons in the field. He has worked with his current handler, Deputy Cody James, for a year and a half.

Vested Interest in K9s Inc. is a 501c(3) charity located in East Taunton, Mass. The charity’s 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 nonprofit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, the group has provided over 2,900 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over $5.7 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 of between $1,744-$2,283 and a five-year warranty, along with an average weight of 4-5 pounds. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States.

For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, 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.

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