Martin County K-9 gets bullet-, stab-protective vest

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From Local Sources

LOOGOOTEE — Spike, a Martin County Sheriff’s Office K-9, will receive a bullet- and stab-protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from the nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s Inc.

Spike’s vest is sponsored by Don and Misty Fike of Galesburg, Illinois, and will be embroidered with the sentiment “Honoring those who served and sacrificed.”

Delivery is expected within eight to 10 weeks, according to the sheriff’s office.

Vested Interest in K9s Inc. is a 501(c)(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 nonprofit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K-9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided more than 3,830 U.S.-made, custom-fitted, certified protective vests in 50 states through private and corporate donations, at a value of $6.9 million.

Earlier this year the organization provided vests to Jasper Police Department K-9 Mack and Indiana State Police K-9s Drogos and Magill, both based out of the Jasper Post.

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 K-9 graduates, as well as K-9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.

The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K-9 is $960.00. Each vest has a value between $1,744 and $2,283 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K-9s 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 or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, Massachusetts, 02718.

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