WESTERVILLE — Westerville Division of Police (WPD) K9 Bruno will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
K9 Bruno’s vest is sponsored by Greg Nobis, of Delaware, and will be embroidered with the sentiment, “In memory of Cooper.” Delivery is expected within eight to 10 weeks.
This is the second vest provided to a WPD K9 by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. In 2018, the nonprofit donated a vest to K9 Fiji, who retired in 2020.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., established in 2009, is a 501(c)(3) charity 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. This potentially lifesaving body armor for four-legged K9 officers is U.S. made, custom fitted and NIJ-certified. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided more than 4,247 vests to K9s in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, made possible by both private and corporate donations.
The program is open to U.S. dogs that are at least 20 months old and actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies. K9s with expired vests are also eligible to participate. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States.
“Bruno will continue his work now with handler Officer Khyrell Baggoo with an added layer of safety,” said Sgt. Bryan Schwartz, WPD’s K9 program manager. “As they go about their work in detecting illegal narcotics as well as conducting searches, tracking and criminal apprehension, we have added peace of mind for their protection thanks to Mr. Nobis and Vested Interest.”
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. accepts tax-deductible contributions in any amount, while a single donation of $960 will sponsor one vest. Each vest has a value of $1,744-$2,283, weighs an average of 4-5 pounds, and comes with a five-year warranty.
For more information, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts donations at www.vik9s.org.
For more information on the Westerville Division of Police, visit www.westerville.org/police.