6 More Erie Co Sheriff K9s Receive Body Armor Donation.
Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announced today that Cali, Ciro, Drago, Haso, Loki, and Monty have received bullet and stab protective vests thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The vests were sponsored by Staten Island Companion Dog Training Club and are embroidered with the sentiment “Gifted by SICDTC, Staten Island, NY.”
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 3,000 protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $5.7 million.
Cali – is the Erie County Sheriff’s Office first female dog in service. Cali is a narcotics detection and police service dog; Handler Deputy Ballantyne
Ciro – is an explosives detection and police services K9; Handler Deputy Sirianni
Drago – is an explosives detection and police services K9; Handler Deputy Casey
Haso – is a narcotics detection and police services K9; Handler Deputy Lundberg
Loki – is an explosives detection and police services K9; Handler Deputy Girdler (Deputy Girdler is the only handler with two police work dogs)
Monty – is a narcotics detection and police services K9; Handler Deputy Szkatulski
With the receipt of these six vests, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office has a total of eleven K9s issued body armor from of Vested Interest in K9’s.
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 $950.00. Each vest has a value between $1,744 – $2,283, and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There are 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.