Allegan County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Lajki will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc.
Lajki’s vest is sponsored anonymously and will be embroidered with the sentiment “This gift of protection provided by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.” Delivery is expected in eight to ten weeks.
Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, Mass., 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 K-9 officers.
K-9 Lajki is a 2-year-old German Shepard from Poland, Germany, and has been with Allegan County Sheriff’s office since February. Deputy Mike Martin, Lajki’s handler, said he is extremely grateful for receiving this vest and says, “This vest will help keep Lajki safe on the job and is the first for our office. The sheriff’s office is thankful for being awarded a vest.”
Since its inception, Vested Interest in K-9s provided over 2,700 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of more than 2.3 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 K-9 graduates, as well as K-9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K-9 is $950. Each vest has a value between $1,744–$2,283 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of four to five pounds. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K-9s throughout the United States.
For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K-9s 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.