GUTHRIE CENTER, Iowa — K9 Urs, the best-smelling member of the Guthrie County Sheriffs office, will soon receive a bullet- and stab-protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from the nonprofit group Vested Interest in K9s Inc.
K9 Urs’ vest will be embroidered with the motto, “Honoring those who served and sacrificed.” Delivery is expected within eight to 10 weeks, according to a sheriff’s office spokesperson.
Vested Interest in K9s Inc. was established in 2009 as a tax-exempt charity 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 potentially lifesaving body armor for four-legged K9 officers is made in the U.S. and custom fitted for each four-footed officer. The vests are certified by the National Institute of Justice.
Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s Inc. has provided more than 4,381 vests to K9s in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million. The gifts are 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, with a single donation of $960 sponsoring one vest. Each vest has a value between $1,744 and $2,283, weighs an average of 4-5 lbs. and comes with a five-year warranty.
For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call Vested Interest in K9s Inc. at 508-824-6978 or visit their website. Contributions may be mailed to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718.