Jonesboro Police Department’s K9 Loki will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Loki’s vest will be embroidered with the sentiment “In Honor of K9 Gabo.” Delivery is expected within eight to ten weeks.
These vests are designed to be used in the line of duty to protect K9 officers. The Jonesboro Police Department has 7 active canines, but only three, Cygan, Argus, and Cash, are currently outfitted with ballistic vests. Two other Jonesboro K9s, Gabo and Rico, have been approved for protective vests and are in production now. Loki’s vest, once received, will bring the total to 6.
“Our dogs do not fail. They don’t know how to fail. The only way they will fail is if we do not adequately prepare them to do their job and I think having these ballistic vests better prepares them to do that.”, Officer Ethan Sanderlin, Loki’s handler, said in a statement.
The Department understands the need for this type of safety equipment. A ballistic vest saved JPD K9 Gabo’s life during an incident in December 2018. His replacement vest is currently in production.
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. 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. has provided over 3,300 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $5.7 million dollars.
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 $950.00. Each vest has a value between $1,744 – $2,283 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. 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.