The newest member of the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit, Kahless, will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from the nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. Kahless’ vest was sponsored by local residents Suzan and Greg Nobis and will be embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of Cooper.”
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, Massachusetts, whose mission is to provide 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 K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 3,700 U.S. made, custom fitted, NIJ certified vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations – at a value of $6.9 million.
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. Each vest is valued at between $1,744 to $2,283 and has a five-year warranty. The vest weighs 4 to 5 pounds. In the U.S., there are 30,000 law enforcement K9s serving in their communities.
Kahless joined the DCSO in May of 2019, and in his first five days on the job, he and his handler, Deputy Brandon Hunter, made four separate drug busts. Kahless is a Belgian Malinois who will turn 2 years old next month. He was purchased and trained thanks to a generous donation made by the locally-based and internationally recognized JEGS Performance. K9s are not required by Ohio law to be part of law enforcement agencies, yet have become critical to the efficient operation of many agencies.
For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities with Vested Interest in K9s, 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.
Submitted by the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office.