Tampa Police Department posted the good news on their facebook page yesterday. All of their K9s will get protective body armor from Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.

TAMPA POLICE DEPARTMENT K9s TECO, PANCHO, and JAEGER TO GET DONATION OF BODY ARMORS

Tampa Police Department K9s Teco, Pancho, and Jaeger will receive bullet and stab protective vests thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The vests are sponsored by a fundraiser hosted by Jill and Paal Gisholt of the Kindess Matters Foundation and will be embroidered with the sentiment “This gift of protection provided by the Gisholts”. Delivery is expected within eight to ten weeks.

“We are extremely grateful to Vested Interest in K9s and the Gisholts for this donation,” said Tampa Police Sergeant Desiree Croteau. “Our K9s routinely put themselves in harm’s way, and anything we can do to keep them safe is greatly appreciated.”

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 3,500 U.S. made, custom fitted, NIJ certified protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $5.7 million dollars.

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 $950.00. Each vest has a value between $1,744 – $2,283 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.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.