Jackson County Sheriff’s K9 Officer Hershey will soon be a little safer when she hits the streets. A bullet and stab protective vest designed just for K9 officers was donated by a non-profit.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided the lifesaving gear. The charity specializes in keeping the 30,000 K9 officers across the country safer on the job. According to the Sheriff’s Office, K9 Hershey’s new body armor is custom-fitted and made in the USA. This vest was sponsored by Virginia Powell of Virginia. The vest is embroidered with “In Memory of Hans I, II, & III.” It will be delivered within the next eight to ten weeks.
Jackson County Sheriff Tedd Frazier said, “We appreciate the contribution of Virginia Powell to the Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., in memory of Hans I, II and III. Virginia’s contribution will help protect Hershey as she serves Jackson County.”
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has been around for 11 years. They operate with public and private donations. Over the years, the group has provided close to 4,000 vests to K9s all over the United States. These vests aren’t cheap. That’s $7 million dollars worth of vests. Eligible dogs must be actively employed in law enforcement or related agencies and at least 20 months old.
According to Vested Interest:
- Vests cost around $2,000
- Each vest weighs 4-5 lbs
- They last about five years
Vests aren’t all they offer K9 officers.
NARCAN for K9s
They provided 1,300 NARCAN kits for working dogs. Like their human partners, K9 officers are often exposed to drugs in the field. Because of their smaller size, a small amount of opioids can put a dog’s life in danger.
Vested Interest has provided $47,000 in K9 first aid kits called Buddy Bags.
These kits contain specially sized oxygen masks, leg splints, and trach tubes for dogs. Plus these other items:
- elasticon bandage
- petrolatum pads
- bandage scissors
- eye saline/drops
- 3x antibiotic ointment
- slip leashes
- lubricating jelly
- digital thermometer
- cotton balls
- ear cleaner
- styptic powder
- cotton applicators
- SAM splint
- burn sheet
- sodium chloride
- saline rinse
- collapsible water bowl
- cold packs
Healthcare for K9 Heroes
The organization also offers a Healthcare for K9 Heroes program where they pick up the cost of health insurance premiums for K9 Officers.
- K9/s must be actively working/employed
- K9/s age must be between 2 and 7 years old
- Agency carries the financial burden of raising funds to support your K9 unit or relies on asset forfeiture funds (does not have a budget line item for K9 program)
- Agency has no more than three (3) K9s
- K9 applicant awarded a vest through Vested Interest in K9s and agency. g
- Grant requirements completed for the vest donation.
If you’d like to help support this organization, click here to visit their website.