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Americus Police Department’s K9 Von receives donation of body armor

From Staff Reports

AMERICUS — Americus Police Department’s K9 Von has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The vest was embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of Badge 3310.”

K9 Officer Von is shown wearing his new bullet and stab protective vest, donated by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., a nonprofit in East Taunton, Mass.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, Mass., with the mission 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 between $1,744 – $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.

So far, during 2019, 73 K9 officers have died in the line of duty in the U.S. Of those, 30 were killed by gunfire (intentional) and two others were assaulted.