LANCASTER, Pa. — The Lancaster Bureau of Police announced Thursday that K9 Officer Theo has received a bullet- and stab-protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
Established in 2009, Vested Interest in K9s provides protective vests and other assistance to law enforcement K9 officers and related agencies throughout the U.S.
The potentially lifesaving body armor is U.S. made, custom fitted, and NIJ certified, Lancaster Police said.
Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 4,033 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, according to Lancaster Police.
Each vest has a value of up to $2,283, weighs an average of 4-5 pounds, and comes with a five-year warranty.
For more information, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call 508-824-6978 or visit www.vik9s.org.