Union County Emergency Services K9 Camden has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Camden’s vest was embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of K9 Gabo, Jonesboro, AR EOW 1/16/20”.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., established in 2009, is a 501(c)(3) 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. This potentially lifesaving body armor for four-legged K9 officers is U.S. made, custom fitted, and NIJ certified. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 4,033 vests to K9s in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, made possible by both private and corporate donations.
“I’m very thankful to Vested Interest in K9s for providing this potentially life-saving vest for Camden,” said Fire Marshal Kevin Rigoli, who is Camden’s partner. “Unfortunately, even accelerant detection K9s and their handlers sometimes have to respond and work in hostile environments.”
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.
Camden is a 5-year old yellow Labrador retriever and a certified ATF employee. He is one of two ATF K9s trained to detect accelerants in North Carolina. To learn more about Camden and watch him train, watch this story on the Union County website.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. accepts tax-deductible contributions in any amount, while a single donation of $960 will sponsor one vest. Each vest has a value of $1,744-$2,283, weighs an average of 4-5 lb., and comes with a five-year warranty. 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 donations online, or you may mail your contribution to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718.
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