K9 Unit Awarded Ballistic Vest
The Stelzer family of Massachusetts donated $950 to the charity to outfit the Logan Township K-9 with a bullet and stab protective vest in memory of Springfield, MA Chief of Police Ernest M. Stelzer who died in 1994 from cancer. “Hunter” is a 3 ½ y/o black German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix who is cross trained in both patrol and narcotics detection. He and his handler, Ptlm. Bryan Haas, have worked together for 2 ½ years.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA. 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. Each vest costs $950.00 and has a 5 year warranty. The nonprofit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four legged K-9 Officers. Through private and corporate sponsorships, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 930 law enforcement dogs in 39 states with protective vests since 2009 at a cost of $880,000. The organization orders the U.S. made vests exclusively from distributor Regency Police Supply in Hyannis, MA. who also does the custom embroidery on the body armor. Vests are manufactured by Armor Express in Central Lake, MI. New K9 graduates as well as K9’s with expired vests are eligible to participate. The program is open to law enforcement dogs who are US employed, certified, and at least 19 months of age.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. was named as a charity partner in March of 2014 in a nationwide Groupon Campaign which raised over $335,000 in 19 days. The non-profit will be providing over 350 law enforcement dogs nationwide with the protective body armor in memory of K9 “Rocco” of the Pittsburgh Police Department who sacrificed his life in the line of duty in January of 2014. All vests will be embroidered with the sentiment, “In Memory of K9 Rocco, Pittsburgh Police Department”.
For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Tax deductible donations accepted via mail to: Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718 or via the website: www.vik9s.org.
Captain Robert T. Leash
May 16, 2014