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Protecting K-9 Partners

NCJ Number
Techbeat Dated: November/December 2014 Pages: 21-25
Date Published
December 2014
5 pages
This article profiles two organizations that facilitate obtaining protective vests for police dogs.

Desired features of K-9 protective vests provide a dog with protection similar to that provided to their handlers. These include comfort, proper fit, ease of movement, breathability, and manageable weight. Coverage can include a dog's vital organs, back, and chest. The cost of such a vest depends on quality, material, protection level, and weight. Often, law enforcement agencies do not have funds to purchase K-9 protective gear. Two organizations that assist in obtaining protective vests for police dogs are Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. and the Capital K-9 Association. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a nonprofit fund-raising organization that donates protective vests for police dogs across the United States. Through a network of volunteers, officers desiring vests for their K-9 partners are paired with corporate or private sponsors that pay for the protective gear. Each vest costs $950. This organization provides vests that manufacturers claim to have stab and ballistic protection. The Capital K-9 Association was initially established to facilitate the purchase of K-9 vests for the Trenton Police Department (New Jersey). The Association currently raises money to purchase K-9 vests for other law enforcement agencies through a variety of fund-raising efforts. It hosts an annual "Quest 4 Vests" event at a New Jersey restaurant. This event has netted as much as $10,000 in one day. The Association is represented at street fairs and festivals in New Jersey. Officers whose police dogs receive vests are encouraged to promote fundraising for other police dogs that need vests.

Date Published: December 1, 2014