K9 Bear of Williamson County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee. (Provided photo)

The following is a republished press release. It was not written by The Ithaca Voice. To submit community announcements, contact us at jstein@ithacavoice.com.

ITHACA, N.Y. — The Ithaca Police Department’s K9 Bert has received a ballistic vest thanks to a non-profit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.

[do_widget id= text-55 ]

On March 14, the Staten Island Companion Dog Training Club in NYC raised $4,750 for five K9s vests.  The other K9s that will be receiving an award will be K9 Arko of Patterson Police Department in New Jersey, K9 Dozer of Ulster County Sheriff’s Office in New York, K9 Gudy of Walla Walla Sheriff’s Office in Washington, and K9 Bear of Williamson County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee.

K9 Bear of Williamson County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee. (Provided photo)

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, Massachusetts.  Their mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States.

Each vest costs $950.00 and has a 5 year warranty.  The nonprofit 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 K9s, Inc. has provided over 1,498 law enforcement dogs in 49 states with protective vests since 2009 at a cost of over $1.4 million dollars.

K9 Bert is pet by Brenda Joly and her sons 2-year-old Gavin and 4-year-old Nicholas during the IPD’s open house.
K9 Bert is pet by Brenda Joly and her sons 2-year-old Gavin and 4-year-old Nicholas during the IPD’s open house.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. announces their signature tank top is now available online for a $20.00 donation at www.vik9s.org.  Proceeds will provide bullet and stab protective vests for police dogs actively working without the potentially lifesaving equipment.

The organization orders the U.S. made vests exclusively from distributor Regency Police Supply in Hyannis, Massachusetts, who also does the custom embroidery on the body armor. Vests are manufacturer by Armor Express in Central Lake, Michigan.

New K9 graduates as well as K9s with expired vests are eligible to participate. The program is open to law enforcement dogs who are US employed, certified and at least 19 months of age.

For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Tax deductible donations accepted via mail to: Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718 or via the website: www.vik9s.org(.)

[do_widget id= text-61 ]

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.