MCSO’s K-9 Chase Receives Body Armor Thanks to Charitable Donation
This is a press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office:
Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office K9 Chase has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Chase’s vest was sponsored by an Anonymous Donor and embroidered with the sentiment “Born to love – Trained to serve – Loyal Always”.
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.
News of the donation prompted Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit Sergeant Joey DeMarco to proclaim, “This is great! We go into some dangerous situations, like illegal marijuana grows, work with the SWAT team, track fleeing felons and conduct parole and probation searches.
Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Kirk Mason who oversees the Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit stated, “The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office program has been in existence for over 20 years. During this time our canine partners have evolved from being strictly protection partners to person trackers, evidence seekers and tactical partners. As a result we have seen a marked increase in deployments and an increased awareness of our canine partners capabilities by both sworn personnel and community members. The donation of these vests will allow our canine partners to safely work side by side, with their handler, in day to day situations which tend to increase in both numbers and complexity. Our handlers will now have the peace of mind in knowing that their canine partner will be deployed in all situations, knowing that their canine partner has the highest level of affordable protection currently being offered.”
Attached is a photograph of K9 Deputy Ryan Murdaugh and his partner K9 Chase wearing his body armor from Vested Interest in K9s.