YORK COUNTY, Pa. — The York County Sheriff Office said Friday its K9 officer, Prince, has received a bullet- and stab-protective vest, thanks to a charitable donation from the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
The vest was sponsored by Rick and Cindy Haterius of Colorado Springs, CO and embroidered with the sentiment “Born to Love-Trained to Serve-Loyal Always," the sheriff's office said.
Established in 2009, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a non-profit organization 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 body armor is made in the U.S., custom-fitted, and certified by the National Institute of Justice, the sheriff's department said.
Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 4,101 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, please 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.