DRIGGS — Teton County Sheriff’s Office K9 Max will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Max’s vest is sponsored by a fundraiser hosted by Alaska K9 Center, North Pole, Alaska and will be embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of K9 Helo, Alaska State Trooper”. Delivery is expected within eight to ten weeks.
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. provided over 2,600 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 2.1 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 $1,050.00. Each vest has a value between $1,795 – $2,234 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.
Max began his tour of duty the he Teton County Sheriff’s Office earlier this summer. He has quickly climbed the ranks as the most popular deputy in the office.
Max’s partner and handler, Deputy Sheriff Tyson Gunderson, has remarked “Max is a great K9 partner. He’s always ready to work and his temperament makes him great to be around the family while he is home.”
The Teton County Sheriff’s Office is very grateful to be awarded this grant from Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. We appreciate their mission to better equip our personnel and protect them from harm in the field.
This article was originally published in the Teton Valley News. It is used here with permission.