Darien Police Department’s K-9 Argo has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc. The vest was sponsored by an anonymous sponsor and embroidered with the sentiment “This gift of protection provided by Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc.”.
Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc. is a 501 c (3) charity 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 K-9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc. provided over 3,000 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 K-9 graduates, as well as K-9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K-9 is $950. Each vest has a value between $1,744 to $2,283, and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K-9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K-9s, 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.
K-9 “Argo” and his handler, Ofc. Amanda Hinkley, are currently assigned to the Patrol Division. The K-9 team is certified in Narcotics Detection and Tracking.