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Americus Police Department’s K9 Von to get donation of body armor

By Beth Alston

AMERICUS — Americus Police Department’s K9 Von will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Von’s vest will be embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of Badge 3310.” The person who donates the vest through Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., gets to honor the K9 of their choice. Delivery is expected within eight to 10 weeks.

Americus Police Chief Mark Scott said of the protection for Von, “We are very pleased to have been selected by the Vested Interest in K-9’s Foundation to receive this protective vest for Von. It is comforting to know that he will have the same protection available to him while tracking potentially dangerous fugitives that our officers wear.”

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, Mass., 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 3,400 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $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.

The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950. Each vest has a value of between $1,744 and $2,283 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, 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.