Grand Junction Police Department’s K9 Nero will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Nero’s vest is sponsored by a fundraiser hosted by the Colorado Police Canine Association and and the Fruita Police Department. The vest will be embroidered with the sentiment, “In loving memory of K9 Gero, EOW 5/6/04.” Gero was a GJPD K9 that was killed in the line of duty after being shot by a wanted fugitive. Delivery of Nero’s vest is expected within eight to ten weeks.
“Having experienced the death of Gero in 2004, our agency is keenly aware of the importance of protective gear for our K9 partners,” says Grand Junction Police Chief John Camper. “We’re grateful to Vested Interest in K9s for facilitating this donation for Nero, as well as the community members that attended the fundraising event that made the donation possible.”
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 1,900 protective vests, in 49 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over $1.6 million. All vests are custom made in the USA by Armor Express in Central Lake, MI.
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 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.