Delaware County Sheriff’s Office K9s Cash and Essac will receive bullet and stab protective vests thanks to a charitable donation from nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
Cash’s and Essac’s vests are sponsored by Greg Nobis, of Delaware, and will be embroidered with the sentiment, “This gift of protection provided by Greg Nobis.” Delivery is expected within eight to 10 weeks.
“Our K9s not only help us apprehend criminals, but they are trained to save their partners’ lives. Equipping them with protective vests is the least we can do,” said Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin. “Partnering with a nonprofit who donates these vests to law enforcement helps us keep our four-legged deputies safe – and saves taxpayer dollars.”
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, Massachusetts, 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 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 2,900 protective vests to law enforcement agencies throughout the country thanks to private and corporate donations. The nearly 3,000 vests handed out are valued at $5.7 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.
Cash and Essac are Belgian Malinois who have been with their deputy partners less than one year. Deputy Troy Gibson, Cash’s partner, has been a K9 handler for 16 years, and Deputy Dave Johnson, Essac’s partner, has been a handler for 10 years.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950. Each vest has a value between $1,744 and $2,283, carries a five-year warranty, and weighs an average of 4 to 5 pounds.
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.