Mississippi State Fire Marshal’s Office K9’s Ralph, Ringo, and Pershing have received donations of body armor.
The bullet and stab protective vests were donated by a nonprofit organization called Vested Interest in K9’s, Inc.
K9 Ralph and Ringo’s vests were sponsored by Leah Beale of Oklahoma City, OK and have been embroidered with the sentiment, “This gift of protection provided by Leah A. Beale”
K9 Pershing’s vest was sponsored through general funds and embroidered with the sentiment “This gift of protection provided by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.”.
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 over 4,845 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.
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 lb., and comes with a five-year warranty.
For more information, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, you can call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts donations at www.vik9s.org, or you may mail your contribution to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718.