Laurens County Sheriff’s Office K9’s Annie & Rice will receive bullet and stab protective vests thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Annie & Rice’s vests will be embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of K9 Jethro - Canton, OH Police Department”. Delivery is expected within eight to ten weeks.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA 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 2,200 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 1.9 million dollars. All vests are custom made in the USA by Armor Express in Central Lake, MI.
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 $1,050.00. Each vest has a value between $1,795 – $2,234 and 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.orgor mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.
"The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc. for the donation of two bullet and stab vest for our bloodhounds Annie and Rice" Sheriff Ricky Chastain said. "With this donation we will be able to provide protection for our Working Dogs as they assist our deputies in the apprehension of violent criminals in Laurens County." Laurens County Sheriff’s Office has had the Bloodhound team since August 2015, during this time the bloodhound team has been called out 17 times. These callouts range from missing persons to armed robberies and murders. K9 Annie is a 2 and half year old female the sheriff's office has had since she was a puppy. K9 Rice is a 6 year old male that was received from another Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina as a puppy. Both K-9s are certified in tracking and trailing through the National Police Working Dog Association.