PADUCAH, KY (KFVS) - The Paducah Police Department has been notified that it has been awarded three K9 ballistic vests by the non-profit organization "Vested Interest in K9s Inc."
The K9 Kota Campaign donated $16,595 to Vested Interested in K9s Inc., which will provide vests for 17 K9s in Kentucky, Ohio, New Jersey, California and Indiana.
The three vests being donated to the Paducah Police Department are being provided for K9s Fox, Junior and Huub.
The K9 Kota Campaign raised money by selling more than 1,350 tee-shirts on-line. Kota is a K9 with the Winchester Police Department in Virginia. He sustained a work-related injury on Jan. 3, when he fell through an attic floor while detaining a suspect. Although the injury was severe to his right, front leg, Kota climbed back up a flight of stairs to continue the fight. After months of surgery and physical therapy,. His return to police work is still unknown.
Vested Interest in K9s Inc. is a 501c(3) charity located in East Taunton, Mass. Its mission is to provide bullet- and stab-resistant vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. Each vest costs $950 and has a five-year warrant.
The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially life-saving body armor for their four-legged officers. Through private and corporate sponsorships, Vested Interest in K9s Inc. has provided more than 930 K9s in 39 states with protective vests since 2009, at a cost of $880,000.
The organization orders the U.S.-made vests exclusively from distributor Regency Police Supply in Hyannis, Mass., which also does the custom embroidery on the body armor. Vests are manufactured by Armor Express in Central Lake, Mich.
New K9s as well as K9s with expired vests are eligible to participate. The program is open to law enforcement K9s who are U.S. employed, certified and at least 19 months of age.
Vested Interest in K9s Inc. was named a charity partner in March 2014 in a nationwide Groupon Campaign, which raised more than $335,000 in 19 days. The non-profit will be providing more than 350 law enforcement dogs nationwide with protective body armor in memory of K9 Rocco of the Pittsburgh Police Department, who died in the line of duty in January 2014. All vests will be embroidered with the sentiment, "In Memory of K9 Rocco, Pittsburgh Police Department."
For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call 508-824-6978. Tax deductible donations accepted via mail to: Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718 or via the website: www.vik9s.org.